“My fellow Ohioans. It has now become obvious that the federal courts are going to strike down Ohio’s ban on same sex marriage. Let me be clear that I think a huge mistake has been made here. This state is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
But all that will be on the unelected judges, not me.
While I disagree with the outcome, as a lawyer who took an oath to defend the Constitution, I must accept this decision. It is time to close the chapter on this divisive issue, and stop spending wasteful money fighting against the inevitable, so that all Ohioans can come together and move forward. I am going to, therefore, withdraw all appeals and ask that the injunction issued by the federal court go into effect on Monday. God save Ohio.
— Mike Dewine, Attorney General, October 7, 2014.
Above is the statement we hope Mike DeWine makes today following the decision of the Supreme Court yesterday to decline to hear appeals in a number of cases involving same sex marriages. In all of the cases, the State was attempting to appeal a lower court judgment striking down a ban on same sex marriage.
In 11 states yesterday, the Supreme Court’s decision means that same sex marriages can go forward. The photographs of couples getting married are stunning and beautiful.
If all goes well, that should be the scene in Ohio very soon.
A federal judge has struck down Ohio’s ban on same sex marriage. The case is now awaiting a decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. While a decision upholding Ohio’s ban on recognizing same sex marriages would not be a shock, it would be a huge upset at this point – the equivalent of Navy beating Ohio State. Every court of appeals that has looked at this issue since the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act has found that the logic of this case applies to state bans on same-sex marriage.
Our Supreme Court expert, who we consult from time to time, explains that the decision to not hear the cases is a clear signal from the Supreme Court that it would vote to allow same sex marriage to go forward. He explains, “The Supreme Court is all about getting five votes. The Supreme Court’s inaction can thus be explained simply: there are not five votes to overturn these decisions. The Court does not want to take high profile cases on social issues unless it has to. In this situation, if the votes are not there to overturn the decisions, why get the country all riled up again fro an inevitability.”
So back to that hypothetical DeWine statement. As we noted previously, Mike DeWine is not obligated to continue appeals of laws that are clearly unconstitutional. He needs to stop spending taxpayer dollars to defend this law. Instead, he should do what attorneys general in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other states have done: surrender gracefully. We drafted this press release for him so that he can salvage his pride, keep right wing groups like Citizens for Community Values appeased, while doing the right thing.
So how about it Mr. Attorney General?