Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

High Court Delays Same-Sex Marriages In Utah

The Supreme Court this morning surprised some observers when it ordered a halt to same-sex "marriages" being performed in Utah.

The week before Christmas, federal Judge Robert Shelby sadly struck down Utah's state marriage amendment, which protected normal marriage. The amendment was supported by 66% of the state's voters in 2004. Utah officials are appealing Shelby's attack on normal marriage, and have sought to block its enforcement while their appeal proceeds.

But Shelby refused to delay his decision, and the liberal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals also refused to intervene. As a result, the votes of 66% of Utah's voters have been negated, and more than 900 same-sex couples now claim they are "married" in the state.

Last week, Utah filed an emergency appeal with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles such appeals from states within the 10th Circuit Court's jurisdiction. Press reports indicate that Sotomayor referred the state's request to the entire Supreme Court, which granted the injunction, stopping for now any more same-sex "marriages" in Utah.

To be clear, the Supreme Court has not issued a ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex "marriages." It has simply said that Utah's marriage amendment will remain in effect until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case and issues its opinion.

The outcome of that decision will undoubtedly be appealed. And whether it is the Utah case or similar challenges now in the courts against Virginia's marriage amendment, the right of the people to define marriage is bound to end up before the high court yet again with the outcome very much in doubt.

Liz Cheney Drops Out

This morning Liz Cheney announced that she was dropping out of the Wyoming Senate race. In her announcement, Cheney cited "serious health issues" in her family as the reason for abandoning her bid. It was unclear whether it was her health issues or someone else's, but we wish her and her family well.

From the start it was hard for many conservatives to justify her challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi. While Enzi has maintained a low-profile, his voting record has been solidly conservative.

Mrs. Cheney is second to none in her strong foreign policy views, and I admire her commitment to defeating radical Islam. But like a number of Republicans these days, she takes a federalism position on same-sex "marriage," meaning she believes that every state should be able to decide the issue as it sees fit.

That may sound great except for one big problem: As the Utah case (see above) makes clear, the left is not going to let every state decide for itself. The left is determined to force every state in the union to accept its radical redefinition of marriage whether the people of that state want to or not.

And where people like Mrs. Cheney fall short is that they won't do what is necessary to stop the left -- by supporting a constitutional amendment to preserve the meaning of marriage. That's why the American Principles Fund, a group that I helped start, ran ads exposing Cheney's weakness on the marriage issue. Eventually, the pressure caused Cheney to strengthen her stance, but her campaign still had not gotten traction.

Al Qaeda Rising

While the failures of Obamacare, the president's signature initiative, have dominated the headlines, one area that gets too little attention is Obama's record on foreign policy. Obama has stated repeatedly that Al Qaeda has been decimated and is on the run. It is on the run, all right -- it is charging forward rather than retreating.

When Obama abandoned Iraq, leaving no significant security force behind, Al Qaeda filled the vacuum. For many months now, the Iraqi government has struggled in its fight against a resurgent jihadist movement. Over the weekend, Al Qaeda terrorists seized control of Fallujah, a city that U.S. Marines fought valiantly to liberate under President George W. Bush. Major portions of Ramadi are also reportedly under Al Qaeda's control.

According to the Associated Press, Iran is increasing its influence in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the bloody civil war in Syria continues. Iran continues to pursue its nuclear enrichment program. Libya has no functioning government. The Saudis have told us that they are no longer counting on us. And as the Middle East falls apart, Obama seems obsessed with creating yet another terrorist state by carving a "Palestine" out of Israel.

RNC Chairman Embraces Life

You'll recall that after the 2012 election, the Republican Party conducted an autopsy of its problems. Unfortunately, rather than an explanation of the party's problems, the autopsy quickly became further evidence of those problems.

Among other things, the autopsy blamed values issues (which I believe are the most popular items on the GOP agenda) for its problems, while ignoring larger problems, including the fact that average Americans simply do not believe the Republican Party cares about people like them.

I and other conservative leaders were quick to jump on the autopsy's conclusions, warning that party leaders were learning the wrong lessons. I went on talk shows and wrote opinion pieces blasting the report's misguided conclusions. In the wake of this controversy, members of the Republican National Committee unanimously reaffirmed their support for normal marriage.

Here's more good news. The Washington Times reports that Chairman Reince Priebus has altered the schedule of the Republican National Committee's upcoming winter meeting so that committee members can attend the annual March for Life on January 22nd. Priebus will attend the march, and the RNC even plans to charter a bus for committee members who want to attend.

Chairman Priebus told the Times, "[The sanctity of life] is a core principle of our party. It was natural for me to support our members and our principles."

Welcome To the Polar Vortex

Perhaps you are one of the 80 million Americans about to find out what a polar vortex is. Basically it means that the weather usually found at the North Pole will suddenly be in Indianapolis. And it is.

That makes the Washington Post's timing rather amusing. This weekend the Post chose to write an editorial warning that we must act quickly to deal with global warming before it is too late.

I suggest that the folks at the Post look out their windows today as temperatures drop 40 degrees to their coldest levels in decades!