State judges in Missouri would be barred from enforcing the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling that legalized marriage for same-sex couples nationally, under a proposed constitutional amendment in the state legislature.
According to Gavel to Gavel, the measure would prohibit decisions by state judges upholding Obergefell v. Hodges. The measure’s language states:
“That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman, regardless of any court decision to the contrary. Any court decision, including Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015), purporting to strike down marriage, as provided in this section, is unauthoritative, void, and of no effect.”
A separate measure, also introduced this week, asks the U.S. House of Representatives to investigate possible impeachment proceedings against justices involved in Obergefell; National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius; and King v. Burwell. In these cases, the measure states, “the Justices on the Supreme Court … lacked understanding of the law and the United States Constitution when they ruled on a case with no constitutional basis or precedent or ruled based on judicial activism, [and] thereby lacked good behavior in their judgment.”
Gavel to Gavel is a publication of the National Center for State Courts, a Justice at Stake partner organization. JAS has declared about judicial impeachment threats, “Almost every American, liberal and conservative, has been angered by particular legal rulings, but that’s because we ask courts to settle tough legal disputes. It is reckless to threaten judges with ouster simply because we don’t like a particular decision.”