If there were ever one of those times when U.S. senators of both parties were in need of calls from constituents supporting a piece of legislation, now is one of those times:
The Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would enshrine the right to same-sex and interracial marriage in federal law, is only four short pages long. Yet in the week since the House passed the measure on a bipartisan vote and Democratic leaders indicated they planned to put it on the Senate floor, few Republican senators have found the time to read it — or so they said Tuesday.
“Haven’t read it,” said Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.).
“We’re still looking at it,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
“I’m not going to comment on it in terms of how I’m going to vote until I see the bill — if it does get a vote,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).
“Most of our members are going to say: Why are we having this vote right now when nobody’s talking about it?” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Senate GOP leader. “It seems like the Democrats are using it as a distraction.”
But in the eyes of Democrats, writing same-sex marriage into federal law became much more than a political stunt with last month’s Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion that had stood since the Roe v. Wade decision 49 years ago. Like the rights to interracial and same-sex marriage, the federal abortion right had been grounded in the constitutional theory of substantive due process that recognizes “unenumerated” rights such as the right to privacy.
While the controlling opinion of the court last month held that the abortion ruling should not “cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion,” a concurring opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas did precisely that — calling on the high court to “reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents,” including Obergefell and Griswold v. Connecticut, which protected access to contraception, and Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated state sodomy laws.
The idea that we can believe Justice Alito that his abortion decision reasoning poses no danger to same-sex marriage is preposterous.
You can find your senator and her/his contact information here.