Proposed bill would stop Supreme Court same-sex marriage hearing

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
Rep. Steve King explains a bill he introduced intending to block the Supreme Court from hearing arguments and deciding on same-sex marriage bans that were scheduled to begin next week. The law seeks to dictate what the court can consider, not what they can decide. | KTIV 4 NEWS/screen capture

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- Conservatives fighting to maintain state laws protecting marriage as between one man and one woman are pushing for eleventh-hour legislation that would stop the U.S. Supreme Court from hearing oral arguments April 28 about same-sex marriage.

Iowa Congressman Steve King (R) introduced a bill Wednesday which proposes to strip federal courts of jurisdiction to hear marriage-related cases. The "Restrain the Judges on Marraige Act of 2015" would essentially leave the issue to state legislatures.

In a press statement, King explained his measure is aimed at keeping federal courts from over-reaching their authority and urged House consideration of the proposal. The congressman said the legislation is needed to uphold the will of voters in states where bans already exist.

"If passed, my bill would stop the Court from destroying traditional marriage and preserve the votes of millions of voters in states that have passed bans on same-sex marriage."

At a press conference King described his last-minute political maneuvering as bringing judicial activism to a stop. 

"We could pass this bill before the Supreme Court could even hear the oral arguments, let alone bring a decision down in June," King said, according to the Huffington Post. "That would stop it right then, there would be no decision coming out of the Supreme Court. This is a brake, and whether we can get the brake on or not between now and June, that we don't know."

Congress can dictate what the Supreme Court can consider, King said, and his bill is constitutional because it does not seek to tell courts how to rule.

The wording on limitation of jurisdiction and funding states "No court created by an Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage."

The bill also includes a provision that restricts the use of federal funds for "any litigation in, or enforcement of any order or judgment by, any court created by an Act of Congress."

"For too long, federal courts have overstepped their constitutionally limited duty to interpret the Constitution." King said. "Rather, federal courts have perverted the Constitution to make law and create constitutional rights to things such as privacy, birth control, and abortion. These unenumerated, so-called constitutionally-protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

If King's legislation passes the House and Senate, the bill could still be vetoed by the president.