Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Saturday tore into the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized gay marriage in 2015, calling it the high court “overreaching.”
During his podcast, “Verdict with Ted Cruz,” the GOP senator addressed the possibility of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority taking aim at Obergefell the same way it dismantled Roe v. Wade, as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for in his concurring opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson case last month.
Cruz claimed that the rulings in both Obergefell and Roe “ignored two centuries of our nation’s history” by deciding on issues that, according to the Texas Republican, ought to have been up to the states to decide.
“Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states,” Cruz said. “We saw states before Obergefell — some states were moving to allow gay marriage, other states were moving to allow civil partnerships.”
The senator argued that marriage equality, a major step for the LBTGQ+ rights movement, was something that needs to remain up for debate.
“The way the Constitution set up for you to advance that position is to convince your fellow citizens and if you succeeded in convincing your fellow citizens, then your state would change the laws to reflect those views,” Cruz said. “In Obergefell, the court said, ‘No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage.’”
“I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided,” he added. “It was the court overreaching.”
Cruz said he believed the Supreme Court wouldn’t come after Obergefell because of what the conservative justices (aside from Thomas) said in their opinion; that their ruling wouldn’t affect precedents unrelated to abortion, which Cruz said he agreed with.
However, experts have noted that those justices’ claims could be little more than empty rhetoric, and marriage equality potentially remains on the chopping block in wake of the Dobbs decision.
Additionally, Cruz’s fellow Republican senators made it clear during then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings that the GOP’s war on marriage equality and other hard-won civil rights is far from over.