Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite and likely GOP presidential candidate in 2016, blasted the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday after the court allowed key lower court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage to stand.
By refusing to reconsider the rulings, the court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in five states immediately, with six other states likely to follow in the coming weeks. In response, the Texas senator issued a statement assailing the court’s lack of action as “judicial activism at its worst.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to let rulings by lower court judges stand that redefine marriage is both tragic and indefensible,” Cruz charged. Cruz proceeded to state that citizens should be able to vote on whether same-sex couples can get married.
“This is judicial activism at its worst. The Constitution entrusts state legislatures, elected by the People, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens,” Cruz’s statement read. “Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.”
Accordingly, Cruz’s statement noted, he has introduced legislation that would allow states to ban same-sex marriage and to refuse to recognize same-sex unions performed elsewhere. Gay rights advocates have dubbed the bill the “’You’re Not Married Anymore’ Bill,” noting that it would sanction a patchwork of state laws pertaining to same-sex marriage and jeopardize couples’ rights as they travel from state to state.
Cruz’s response contrasts from the notably more muted reactions from other prominent Republicans. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, an opponent of marriage equality, conceded on Monday that the fight over same-sex marriage is “over in Wisconsin,” one of the states where same-sex marriage will now become legal. Meanwhile, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney told the hosts of Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect that he simply wished the court would decide the issue this term.