Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) did not want to be a defendant in a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. His lawyers filed a motion in May asking that the litigation be dismissed because Pence was not the proper defendant. They argued that he did not have "any authority to enforce, or other role respecting" the ban.
It might seem a little odd, considering Pence has partly built his career on a platform of social conservatism. But maybe the continued 2016 speculation, and the prospect of a national campaign, caught up with him. Pence has become regarded as one of the possible dark horses as the GOP's presidential bench still lacks a proper frontrunner.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) also asked to be dropped from gay-marriage litigation, but didn't argue that he didn't have the authority to enforce the ban as Pence did. He might have gotten the idea from former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who successfully made the same argument before he left office. Advocates who follow same-sex marriage ban challenges couldn't name any other governors who petitioned to have his or her name removed from a lawsuit, underscoring how unusual of a move it was. Lawsuits have been filed in almost every state.
And now Pence has been called out, in a way, for his waffling. A federal judge said last week that Pence's argument had been "a bold misrepresentation" of his role and that he was in fact the proper defendant for the lawsuit.
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