Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi really doesn’t want to be on the losing end of the various marriage equality cases that are being handed down, so she’s waiting for the the U.S. Supreme Court to make the call.
“Neither this Court nor the Florida Supreme Court can decide this federal issue with finality,” Bondi wrote to the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal. “The United States Supreme Court, however, ‘has the final word on the United States Constitution.’”
Bondi told the appeals court she expects the U.S. Supreme Court will act soon on the gay marriage issue. She cited filings this week from the states of Utah and Oklahoma asking their gay-marriage cases be heard by the nation’s highest court.
“A ruling from the United States Supreme Court would end the constitutional debate, end this appeal, and end all related cases,” Bondi wrote. “The State of Florida will respect the United States Supreme Court’s final word. In the meantime, this Court should preserve taxpayer and judicial resources by staying briefing until the United States Supreme Court rules.”
Lawyers for eight same-sex couples, who last month won the right to marry in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties, say they want the cases heard as soon as possible at the Florida Supreme Court.
This, of course, is a total cop out. The ban is a Florida state constitutional amendment, not a federal law, so the Florida courts should decide it. Besides, isn’t the Republican mantra always “states’ rights”? That’s what they told us about abortion and that the Supreme Court overstepped its bounds with Roe v. Wade. Now that the tide is turning toward marriage equality, she wants to pass the buck to SCOTUS and then say that while she is anti-marriage equality (hint hint running for another term), it isn’t her call anymore.
She also knows that waiting for SCOTUS to decide will mean they won’t hand down a ruling before November, which avoids the whole issue of it landing on her desk while she’s trying to convince the hard-core base that she really is worth re-electing. Huh. If she was really that hard-core, she’d go full-tilt for it and prove her Tea Party bona fides instead of letting the feds do it.
HT to Bob.