Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker isn’t a declared candidate in the 2016 Republican presidential race–though he’s expected to declare any day now. But he’s already tacking hard to the right on gay marriage.
On Friday, June 26, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 that gay marriage should be legal in all 50 states.
Gay couples can begin marrying nationwide immediately–and many already have.
Many of Walker’s opponents for the nomination have gone silent on the issue, preferring to just be happy that one of the Democrats’ social wedge issues has quickly disappeared from the table.
But Walker is speaking his mind:
“I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake,” Walker said, in a statement. “Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decisions acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.'”
But, since the Supreme Court is the law of the land–and decides, ultimately, whether laws are constitutional or not–there’s little way around their decision. The only thing that could overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling–aside from another decision from a different court case by the Supreme Court, which is highly unlikely to ever happen–would be to amend the Constitution.
That’s exactly what Walker plans to do.
Using the First Amendment’s “free exercise of religion” clause, Walker urges that Republicans “continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans”–namely the Christians whom he feels have been attacked by the latest ruling.
Unfortunately for Walker and his supporters, there’s little chance of the Federal Marriage Amendment (as it was called under the Bush Administration) of ever becoming part of the Constitution.
An amendment to the Constitution requires not just 3/4 of Congress to approve, but also 3/4 of state legislatures to ratify.
It’s an uphill climb for even the most popular amendments–but, for something as controversial as gay marriage, that kind of landslide support would be virtually impossible.
The last time the Federal Marriage Amendment was voted on in Congress, it was soundly defeated–and that was back in mid-2006, when Republicans themselves dominated the House of Representatives.
Regardless of the likelihood of Walker’s plans, he’s staked out a clear vision for his future 2016 candidacy: that he’d run as a solid conservative.