By Ryan T. Anderson, Tony Evans and Robert P. George, The National Review.
The year since Obergefell v. Hodges was decided has proven that courts should leave democratic debate to the people.
One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court declared in Obergefell v. Hodges that the United States Constitution mandates same-sex marriage. But in doing so, the court improperly cut short the process of democratic debate that our Founders bequeathed to us and that the Constitution envisioned.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, proclaimed that the court had discovered a new “liberty promised by the Fourteenth Amendment.” But in mistaking a political movement for a constitutionally protected right, the court ignored the text and meaning of the Constitution and its own prior jurisprudence.
The court has traditionally been loath to create new constitutional rights because doing so “place[s] the matter outside of the arena of public debate and legislative action,” where most issues, such as the definition of marriage, properly belong. But unfortunately this longstanding policy of constitutional restraint evaded the court in Obergefell.