NJ Governor Chris Christie Withdraws State's Appeal of High Court Ruling on Gay Marriage


Breaking from Bloomberg news:

New Jersey Governor Christie said he advised Acting Attorney General John Hoffman to withdraw the state’s appeal of a ruling allowing gay marriage.

Wrote Christie's administration in the request:

“Chief Justice Stuart Rabner left no ambiguity about the unanimous court's view on the ultimate decision in this matter when he wrote, ‘same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today,’" the administration stated.

“Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

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  1. Very sensible response. Game over.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Oct 21, 2013 9:51:52 AM

  2. Ain't it funny how Republicans demand a "vote of the people" when judges rule against them, then screech about the people subverting the legislative process when the vote goes against them, then demand court review when the legislature overrules them.

    They really are pathetic losers.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Oct 21, 2013 9:53:14 AM

  3. R's are Nothing but cheaters to get their way

    Posted by: rick heid | Oct 21, 2013 10:05:03 AM

  4. Governor, courts are a constitutional process, too. We have three branches of government, not just two. The "elected branches" are not the only branches.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Oct 21, 2013 10:05:10 AM

  5. actually, this is clever on his part and bad for us. going through with a trial and having a refutation of the government's anti-gay animus as well as a favorable ruling on the record would have helped in other cases in other states. he and his nomite advisors know this.

    Posted by: candide001 | Oct 21, 2013 10:08:05 AM

  6. One suspects that this is the out that Christie was looking for. He can make some half-hearted claim about his social conservative credentials while obviating a drawn-out fight that would cost him mainstream support.

    Posted by: Nat | Oct 21, 2013 10:17:31 AM

  7. Could backfire on him in 2016. I can imagine Santorum or some other tea bag going to the right wingnuts and saying "See, he refused to fight for your values".

    Posted by: Ready | Oct 21, 2013 10:17:43 AM

  8. Elected officials? The legislature passed the marriage equality bill, he overrode the wishes of the legislature and vetoed it. He speaketh with a forked tongue.

    Posted by: Ted | Oct 21, 2013 10:19:43 AM

  9. He must have read this morning's article in WaPo - http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gay-rights-supporters-wage-a-quiet-campaign-to-push-republicans-to-the-middle/2013/10/20/c2a09990-30fd-11e3-89ae-16e186e117d8_story.html?hpid=z3

    Posted by: Alan | Oct 21, 2013 10:24:34 AM

  10. He read the writing on the wall and doesn't want the embarrassment of the case going forward, when obviously he was going to lose. So he's making, as has been the case all along, a political calculation where he says the words he hopes will appease the 2016 Tea Party faction while throwing his hands in the air to make up nonsense about activist courts. In fact, the court did precisely what it was meant to do, and, like our Republican governor in VT in 2009, he will still go down on the wrong side of history.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 21, 2013 10:29:34 AM

  11. NOM, what say you?

    Posted by: Gigi | Oct 21, 2013 10:46:27 AM

  12. "Chief Justice Stuart Rabner left no ambiguity about the unanimous court's view on the ultimate decision in this matter when he wrote, 'same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today.'"

    This is the argument that will bring marriage equality to the remaining states. There's really no way around it.

    Posted by: rroberts | Oct 21, 2013 10:49:24 AM

  13. "Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches..." -Man who vetoed a same-sex marriage bill passed by the NJ legislature

    Posted by: Jonah | Oct 21, 2013 10:51:01 AM

  14. He's being spiteful. This would have been great to run through the Supreme Court to have additional case law and authority to be used in other cases.

    Of course, idiots like Christie Kreme never recognize the courts as a valid part of our law making process, despite the fact they are doing the exact job that is expected from their branch of government. The criticisms are exacerbated when court rules against them.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Oct 21, 2013 10:56:04 AM

  15. Is it possible to overturn the Court's decision by a referendum like prop 8 in California?

    Posted by: simon | Oct 21, 2013 11:01:54 AM

  16. “Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches" SERIOUSLY?!? The NJ Legislature passed a marriage equality bill 3 years ago and he vetoed it. More GOP revisionist history.

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 21, 2013 11:12:10 AM

  17. Christie has his eyes on the Presidency and all this is just posturing so he can get nominated. As usual, selfish politicians trying to make themselves look good to their peers without regard to the country in general.

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 21, 2013 11:17:15 AM

  18. Good standard RepubliSCUM Party move candidate Christie!

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 21, 2013 11:17:54 AM

  19. I'm actually surprised he didn't let it play out in the courts. He might have benefitted politically more if he had (I'm thinking if his party base). Or, perhaps he's hoping to end this now so by 2016 it'll be "old news" if runs for president. Maybe he sees this as a losing issue nationally unlike in 2004. If that's the case, wow. Never thought we'd see that happen just a few short years after that damned election!

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Oct 21, 2013 11:21:35 AM

  20. Simon - not sure how they do initiatives in NJ but if it's an amendment to the state constitution than I'd say yes. That is if it actually passed which seems highly unlikely. Of a federal judge could still strike it down based on violations of the US Constitution. I kind of hope that NOM does try a referendum and loses so it'll benefit us even more moving forward.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Oct 21, 2013 11:25:33 AM

  21. I think it's partially politics, but I do think he doesn't want a LOSS on the record with the Supreme Court. That would be a big thing, and clearly, he wants to avoid that. Also, as Jonah put it...the man vetoed marriage equality when it would have been passed in 2012. He is a loser, literally.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Oct 21, 2013 11:43:47 AM

  22. @Simon

    Maybe. SCOTUS decisions on the Constitution can be overturned by new amendment to the Constitution (rare) and decisions on law can be overturned by Congress enacting a new law (not so rare)and by the SCOTUS overturning itself (rare).

    State supreme court decisions could be challenged by voters who could try to pass a new constitutional amendment in the states that have a statewide initiative/referendum process available to the people. For example, Cali's Prop 8 was a reaction to Cali's supreme court overturning Prop 22.

    However, NJ does not have a statewide initiative/referendum process. The legislature would have to act to add an amendment to the ballot for the voters to have their say, as Christie crows about.

    In 2006, the Supreme Court of NJ ruled the state's marriage laws were unconstitutional (Lewis v Harris) and directed the legislature to either create civil unions (they did) or amend marriage laws to allow full access. So, an amendment banning equal marriage in NJ is highly unlikely.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Oct 21, 2013 11:53:31 AM

  23. Badda bing, badda boom

    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 21, 2013 12:09:20 PM

  24. @Simon, I would agree with the others who say a referendum is highly unlikely. Even if it was launched and succeeded (even more unlikely) it would certainly be unconstitutional. NJ is safely in the equality column.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 21, 2013 12:40:23 PM

  25. Well, we all clearly know that New Jersey would legalize marriage equality through vote anyway. There is no vote coming. Chris Christie knows it's over, and likely has known for a while.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Oct 21, 2013 12:51:28 PM

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