December 31, 2015 at 12:27 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Santorum pledges to ignore ruling against DOMA

Rick Santorum, United States Senate, Values Voter Summit, Republican Party, Pennsylvania, U.S. Congress, gay news, Washington Blade

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said he won’t enforce the Supreme Court decision against DOMA. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

As Rick Santorum continues to bottom out in every presidential poll, he made a new commitment this week to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Santorum made the comments Sunday in an interview with the Catholic news service EWTN, saying DOMA was “wholly wrongly” found unconstitutional.

“This was a decision that was extraconstitutional,” Santorum said. “That law is good, valid law and I would enforce that law.”

Although other candidates such as Mike Huckabee have pledged to ignore the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision against state bans on same-sex marriage, Santorum said that’s “much more difficult” than ignoring the DOMA ruling.

“This was a state case, and so these are state laws,” Santorum said. “There’s no federal marriage law other than the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Santorum continued, “I’m not going to go out and say I’m going to change all the state laws. I couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t do that, but what I can do is enforce federal law on that subject matter.”

The candidate’s vow to leave state laws on marriage alone seems at odds with his support as a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania for a U.S. constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage throughout the country.

Santorum said his vision for the presidency is putting the Supreme Court in its rightful place, which he said is “not the final arbiter, not the creator of all these rights, the inventor or the amender of the Constitution.”

“I don’t do so out of a desire to grab power and authority,” Santorum said. “I do so because the court decided that they are going to exert themselves and become a disproportionate voice on the national stage.”

Santorum, who has consistently come in at 0 percent in Republican presidential polls, was among the four Republican candidates who signed a pledge with the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage to oppose same-sex marriage and back a U.S. constitutional amendment against gay nuptials.

Roberta Kaplan, the lesbian New York-based attorney who successfully argued against DOMA before the Supreme Court, said Santorum’s pledge “doesn’t make any sense, even as a matter of elementary school civics.”

“In order to become the president of the United States, one must swear to uphold and enforce the U.S. Constitution,” Kaplan said. “But the Supreme Court, which in our system has the final say on the constitutionality of statutes, has held that the key provision of DOMA is unconstitutional. Thus, neither Rick Santorum nor anyone else for that matter could legally seek to enforce DOMA.”

Watch video of Santorum’s remarks here (courtesy Right Wing Watch):

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

8 Comments
  • Rick has been eating his own Santorum and it hasn’t done him a damn bit of good.

  • In the interest of fair play, and as a gay man who was affected by DOMA, I pledge to ignore Little Ricky Santorum.

  • This man has his head up his ass, as do most republicans. What else can I say?

  • Uh, ricky?

    Ever read Article VI of the US Constitution. Briefly, it states that the US Constitution is the reference document to which state laws are compared to.

    Amemdment 14 says that all people are to be treated alike.

    Questions?

    First go read the US Constitution, then we’ll discuss.

    • Ricky says he doesn’t know who gave SCOTUS the authority to interpret the Constitution. OK, I never went to law school, so I can’t explain the finer points of Article III. But I have heard of Marbury v. Madison, and I didn’t even go to law school!

  • Teapublican candidates are not beyond committing treason if it gets them fifteen minutes of free press and a couple of batshit-crazy acolytes on the right extreme of their party.

    To defy a ruling of the Supreme Court as President is an impeachable offense. The President is supposed to enforce the decisions of the Supreme Court through its DOJ, U. S. Marshals and Armed Forces.

    But before he’s President, he’s a right-wing Christian, a Dominionist, who sincerely believes that the King James version of the Bible trumps the Constitution and that any time your religious belief is at odds with the Constitution or the Court built to interpret it, you should feel free to break the law with impunity.

    The President takes an oath to Protect and Defend the Constitution, not just the parts he likes and his minister tells him to (although recently, he’s even been telling off the Pope!). This guy has broken that oath, and he’s not been elected to anything. Fortunately, nor will he be, because he’s just a nasty, self-righteous moron and nobody wants him sitting in any government office. Even his own constituents threw him out, and throwing out a sitting U. S. Senator is almost unheard of.

    As far as I’m concerned, Santorum and Huccubus can go, well “F” each other. They deserve each other.

    • He calls himself a Catholic, so definitely not a KJV guy. More like Douay-Rheims, if he even accepts English translations over the original Latin. (I say “calls himself” because he lost the Catholic vote in almost every state last time around.)

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