Don’t count on the Court

Monday, December 10, 2012
Peter Heck - Guest Columnist

Peter HeckWhen it comes to "gay marriage," conservatives shouldn't hold their breath waiting for nine lawyers in black robes to get it right.

So here we go.  The United States Supreme Court has decided to hear two cases involving the claims of same-sex couples that they are being denied their constitutional rights when a state refuses to condone their union as official state-sanctioned marriage.

Even before the arguments are made, you can guess all of the justices already know how they feel about the issue.  And with as much as they will bury those feelings in legal jargon, their decision is one that will strike at the heart of Natural Law.  Their ruling will be a formal declaration as to whether as a people we will abide by or violate God's moral order.

So what to expect?  One of three things.

First is the possibility that the Court will drop a cultural bomb on the United States as it did in its 1973 disastrous ruling in Roe v. Wade.  That decision overturned laws in 50/50 states, was a massive federal power grab, and about as horrific a violation of Natural Law that you can possibly imagine.  The Court declared that they had found in the Constitution a previous undiscovered right to kill your offspring.  And therefore, any state that attempted to ban the practice was violating the U.S. Constitution.  It was (and remains) patently absurd.

Certainly as it stands, the four ideological zealots of the left who sit on the Court (Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan) are more than ready to do the same thing with gay marriage.  Isn't it funny how no one in the media ever talks about the blind partisanship and ideological obsession of the liberal justices?  Those pejorative phrases are only applied to conservatives who act conservative.  Nevertheless, the only thing that stands between our culture and the utter destruction of family, then, is one vote of the so-called "conservative" justices.

We've already seen how reliable Chief Justice John Roberts is with his ObamaCare sellout, and anyone who has followed the judicial career of Anthony Kennedy (particularly on abortion) knows that he is about as trustworthy a conservative as Charlie Crist.  The other three will probably get it right - and if I was guessing, Roberts would too.  So it all comes down to Anthony Kennedy, just as it did on the potential overturn of Roe back in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  If you wonder how that turned out, check the trash bins out behind your local abortion mill.

The second possibility is that Kennedy and Roberts will get this one right, and join the other conservative justices to uphold Natural Law.  They could issue a far-reaching decision that declares conclusively that there is no constitutional right of same-sex marriage.  If they follow their own precedent in Baker v. Nelson, that's what they will do.  But I wouldn't bet the ranch.  While some conservatives are apt to believe that the Court is hearing this case now because the conservative justices want to rule on this issue before Obama gets to replace any of them with more radical liberals, I just don't think it's likely that Kennedy will allow himself to be seen as a social conservative crusader in one of his last major rulings, or that the guy who was so afraid of stirring controversy in the ObamaCare case (John Roberts) that he willingly threw the Constitution under the bus will be likely to make this a landmark victory for common sense.

Which brings us to the third option, and the one that I suppose seems most plausible to me.  Given the narrow questions that the Court agreed to consider in these two "gay marriage" cases, it is completely possible for them to issue rulings about those specific issues (questions of petitioner's standing and other jurisdiction objections) while leaving the big question of a constitutional right to gay marriage alone.  The Court did this in the Pledge of Allegiance case a few years back.  Rather than ruling that "under God" was constitutional to be recited in schools, they merely said that the atheist bringing the case lacked standing to do so, and therefore vacated the previous court's ruling.  They kicked the can down the road.

And that's what I would expect.  Of course, given the direction our culture has chosen to go by selecting a president who deems God's definition of marriage bigoted, it's only a matter of time before a more liberal Court picks that can up and attempts to deliver a death blow to marriage and family in the United States.

Conservatives who are committed to stopping this from happening shouldn't hold their breath waiting for nine lawyers in black robes to get it right.  After all, if they can get the question of whether it's okay to kill babies in the womb wrong, they can't be trusted to get the day of the week right ... no less a case this important.  Instead, we should be committing ourselves to a new and bold strategy of taking back our culture - our media, our schoolrooms, our communities.  Rather than seeking to change politicians in order to fix our culture, we must change our culture to fix our politicians.

Peter Heck ( is a public high school government teacher and radio talk show host in central Indiana.

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