Speaking in Sioux City, Iowa, moments ago, Fred Thompson endorsed an amendment to the Constitution that would prevent state judges from altering the definition of marriage without the direction of their states’ legislatures.
Mr. Thompson has been under fire from social conservatives in recent days for refusing to support the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would define marriage in the United States as being between one man and one woman. He’s said that such an amendment would conflict with his views on federalism.
Perhaps I’m a little thick in the noodle these days, but I’m geniunely baffled by any definition of “federalism” that would essentially mandate that contentious issues be sorted out by state legislatures and state legislatures alone. If you’re going to oppose a federal marriage amendment because it would upset your dodgy “federalist” sensibilities, you simply can’t turn around and propose an amendment like this. Unless, of course, you’re willing to change your slogan from “leave the issue to the states” to “leave the issue only to those state institutions I consider legitimate.”