WASHINGTON, D.C., December 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The Constitution does not need to be amended on the issue of marriage, because nothing in the Constitution requires that marriage be redefined, Sen. Marco Rubio told “Meet the Press” on Sunday. The justices he would appoint to the Supreme Court would understand that and vote accordingly, he said.
Rubio, who has gained in recent presidential polls, says that he does not believe the Obergefell v. Hodges decision is “settled law. Any future Supreme Court can change it.”
“I will appoint Supreme Court justices that will interpret the Constitution as originally constructed,” the Florida senator told NBC's Chuck Todd.
The left-wing website ThinkProgress responded, “Rubio is saying that he will appoint new justices who do not intend to respect the Obergefell decision.”
The next president could appoint numerous justices. Four Supreme Court justices are over the age of 75: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Stephen Breyer.
Rubio balked at a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, a move favored by Rick Santorum, or another amendment leaving the matters to the states, supported by Ted Cruz.
“That would be conceding that the current Constitution is somehow wrong and needs to be fixed. I don't think the current Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate marriage,” Rubio said.
“If you want to change the definition of marriage, which is what this argument is about – It's not about discrimination. It is about the definition of a very specific, traditional, and age-old institution, that definitional change – if you want to change it, you have a right to petition your state legislature and your elected representatives to do it.”
Rubio said it “is wrong that the Supreme Court has found this hidden constitutional right” after 200 years of jurisprudence, and “basically overturn the will of voters in Florida” and numerous other states.
The Rubio presidential campaign told LifeSiteNews exclusively that the candidate's remarks reflected his belief that the family unit is the building block of society. “Marco understands that strong families are at the core of American greatness,” Brooke Sammon, the press secretary for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, told LifeSiteNews, “and he is proud of his record supporting families and defending marriage.”
He recently told The Daily Signal's David Brody that all society leaders must defend the family – especially clergy. “I think those that are in the pulpit have an obligation to teach truth,” he said. “And when it comes to Christianity, truth is often uncomfortable,” because “much of what the world deems to be right is in fact not right, that what is legal doesn't mean it's proper.”
The onetime hero of the Tea Party movement, elected to the Senate in 2010, has tacked to the right once again after moves in the Senate, including his stance on illegal immigration, strained his ties with the party's grassroots. In April, Rubio told Fusion TV's Jorge Ramos that he would attend a gay wedding ceremony if a friend invited him, something he likened to attending the second marriage of a divorced person.
But as he has emphasized his conservative views, Rubio has surged in the presidential race, displacing Dr. Ben Carson and moving into a virtual tie with Sen. Ted Cruz for second place, behind Donald Trump.
Still, several evangelical, marriage, and conservative leaders endorsed Ted Cruz, who is often seen as Rubio's chief rival, hoping to coalesce behind one candidate before the primary season gets into full swing. The National Organization for Marriage said, although Rubio has “spoken out powerfully” for marriage, Cruz was getting its endorsement. The most visible of Iowa's evangelical leaders, Bob Vander Plaats of the Family Leader, also endorsed Cruz, although he said, “We like Senator Rubio a lot. We like how he brings it back to the family all the time.”
For instance, at the last presidential debate Rubio sparred with Sen. Rand Paul over Rubio's plan to expand the child tax credit, a policy that would give families relief from the federal tax burden. “I am proud that I have a pro-family tax code,” Sen. Rubio said.
Rubio, Cruz, and Paul will face off again tonight as the top nine presidential candidates debate on CNN at 8:30 p.m. The four candidates who rank below those nine will debate at 6 p.m.
“Meet the Press” Transcript:
Chuck Todd: Are you going to work to overturn the same sex marriage?
Marco Rubio: I disagree with it on constitutional grounds. As I have said–
Chuck Todd: But are you going to work to overturn this?
Marco Rubio: I think it's bad law. And for the following reason. If you want to change the definition of marriage, then you need to go to state legislatures and get them to change it. Because states have always defined marriage. And that's why some people get married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator. And in Florida, you have to wait a couple days when you get your permit. Every state has different marriage laws. But I do not believe that the court system was the right way to do it because I don't believe–
Chuck Todd: But it's done now. Are you going to work to overturn it?
Marco Rubio: You can't work to overturn it. What you–
Chuck Todd: Sure. You can do a constitutional amendment.
Marco Rubio: As I've said, that would be conceding that the current Constitution is somehow wrong and needs to be fixed. I don't think the current Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate marriage. That belongs at the state and local level. And that's why if you want to change the definition of marriage, which is what this argument is about.
It's not about discrimination. It is about the definition of a very specific, traditional, and age-old institution. That definitional change, if you want to change it, you have a right to petition your state legislature and your elected representatives to do it. What is wrong is that the Supreme Court has found this hidden constitutional right that 200 years of jurisprudence had not discovered and basically overturn the will of voters in Florida where over 60 percent passed a constitutional amendment that defined marriage in the state constitution as the union of one man and one woman.
Chuck Todd: So, are you accepting the idea of same sex marriage in perpetuity?
Marco Rubio: It is the current law. I don't believe any case law is settled law. Any future Supreme Court can change it. And ultimately, I will appoint Supreme Court justices that will interpret the Constitution as originally constructed.