Sen. Cruz: The People Should Decide the Issue of Marriage, Not the Courts
Introduces marriage amendment and bill to protect states from judicial overreach
April 24, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, yesterday filed the Restoration of Marriage Amendment and the Protect Marriage from the Courts Act to guarantee the American people's right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
"The people should decide the issue of marriage, not the courts," said Sen. Ted Cruz. "The union of a man and a woman has been the building block of society since the dawn of history, and the people in numerous states have repeatedly affirmed that truth in their laws. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits that. In fact, it is inconceivable that when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, Americans would have understood they were sowing the seeds for courts to invalidate traditional marriage. And yet that is precisely what has happened. Judges have taken an unprecedented activist role to strike down state marriage laws. I am proud to introduce this legislation to uphold the institution of marriage and to safeguard the states' authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
The Restoration of Marriage Amendment amends the Constitution to guarantee the right of the people to define marriage in their laws as the union of one man and one woman and to prevent the courts from ever again misconstruing the Constitution to require that marriage or its benefits be extended to unions other than the union of man and woman. The full text is below:
"The United States and each State, territory, and possession thereof shall have the power to define marriage as limited to the union of one man and one woman. Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of one man and one woman or to require that a State recognize a marriage that was licensed in another State. No decision or order of any court to the contrary, including any decision or order issued before the date of ratification, shall have any force or effect."
The Protect Marriage from the Courts Act of 2015 bars federal courts from ruling on state marriage laws. Pursuant to Congress' power under Article III of the Constitution to limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts and to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, this legislation restricts the jurisdiction of federal courts to determine the constitutionality of state laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.