On ABC’s “This Week,” Washington Post columnist George Will said the Supreme Court will likely take into account recent ballot initiatives when it hears arguments on California’s Proposition 8, which restricted marriage to straight couples.
“Peter Finley Dunne, a great American humorist, created a man named Mr. Dooley, who famously said the Supreme Court follows the election returns,” Will said. “This decision by the Supreme Court [to hear arguments on Proposition 8] came 31 days after an Election Day, in which three states, for the first time, endorsed same-sex marriage at the ballot box. [That's] never happened before — Maine, Maryland and the state of Washington.”
Will compared the gay-marriage issue to the debate surrounding abortion, saying the Court might be reluctant to again jump into a hot-button national issue.
“Now, the question is, how will that influence the Court?” he continued. “It could make them say it’s not necessary for us to go here. They don’t want to do what they did with abortion. The country was a constructive accommodation on abortion, liberalizing abortion laws. The Court yanked the subject out of democratic discourse, and embittered the argument. They may say, ‘We don’t want to do that. We can just let democracy take care of this.’”
“On the other hand, they could say, ‘It’s now safe to look at this, because there is something like an emerging consensus,’” Will said. “Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying, it’s old people.”