The Washington Post asked a group of experts their views on the expected impact of Judge Walker’s Prop 8 ruling. Maggie responded: “[T]he ruling – a slur against the majority of the American people, who have been declared irrational bigots by a federal judge – is firing up millions of voters.”
Chairman, National Organization for Marriage
A litigator e-mailed me last week to say: "Walker's grandiosity will be his undoing." Even legal scholars who support gay marriage have expressed reservations about the ruling's "maximalist" nature. Instead of producing a lawyerly opinion, Judge Walker wrote an advocacy brief for gay marriage. I think it will backfire and the ruling is likely to be overturned, perhaps even at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
In the meantime, the ruling -- a slur against the majority of the American people, who have been declared irrational bigots by a federal judge -- is firing up millions of voters, complicating an already difficult election for Democrats. Rush Limbaugh, who is not known as a social conservative, said, "The American people are furious. My e-mails are unbelievable. This federal judge yesterday, this decision, Prop. 8, California, has just put people over the edge, and all of these decisions are coming one after another from all corners of the federal government. It's as if we have absolutely no say in what is going on all around us. Decisions are being made for us, in lieu of us and imposed on us."
Rush is spot-on. This decision feeds into a larger narrative in which ordinary Americans believe they are losing control; that the powerful aren't responding to their views or values. The only way for people to respond to this kind of slur is through the political process.
At the National Organization for Marriage we are already seeing a flood of new activists and small donors, who are demanding we "do something" about this decision in November. This will revive marriage as a national issue, create new pressures for a federal marriage amendment, and put politicians who prefer to dodge on the spot.
As in 2004, Democrats will try to blame right-wing extremists for injecting the dread social issues into the campaign. But in truth, they will have Judge Vaughn Walker to thank.