Legal Scholars Urge Americans to Defy Gay Marriage Ruling

Sam Dorman | October 9, 2015 | 3:38pm EDT
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Princeton University Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George. (Princeton)

( – Five dozen legal scholars are urging citizens and government officials to defy the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, which they said in a statement “must be judged anti-constitutional and illegitimate.”

The American Principles Project released a statement with signatories from multiple universities, colleges, and other organizations on Thursday, urging government officials and citizens “to resist” the Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that declared same-sex marriage a constitutionally-protected right.

The statement argues that the decision was unconstitutional and harmful to society. It had 64 signatories, including Princeton University Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George, founder of The American Principles Project, James Richardson from the Christian Legal Society, and Ken Masugi from the Claremont Institute.

Because the decision is  “lacking anything remotely resembling a warrant in the text, logic structure or original understanding of the Constitution,” the statement continued, it “must be judged anti-constitutional and illegitimate.”

Obergefell should be declared to be such, and treated as such, by the other branches of government and by citizens of the United States,” the statement continues.

It calls upon government officials to resist the Obergefell ruling in multiple ways.

“We remind all officeholders in the United States that they are pledged to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not the will of five members of the Supreme Court,” the statement reads.

“We call on all federal and state officeholders:

     “To refuse to accept Obergefell as binding precedent for all but the specific plaintiffs in that case;

     “To recognize the authority of states to define marriage, and the right of federal and state officeholders to act in accordance with those definitions;

     “To pledge full and mutual legal and political assistance to anyone who refuses to follow Obergefell for constitutionally protected reasons;

     “To open forthwith a broad and honest conversation on the means by which Americans may constitutionally resist and overturn the judicial usurpations  evident in Obergefell.”


The statement closes by arguing that if Americans accept a decision that does not have constitutional warrant, they would be surrendering their liberty to unelected Supreme Court justices.

“To treat as ‘settled’ and ‘the law of the land’ the decision of five Supreme Court justices who, by their own admission, can find no warrant for their ruling in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution, would indeed be to resign our government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

“That is something that no citizen or statesman who wishes to sustain the great experiment in ordered liberty bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers should be willing to do,” the statement concludes.

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