Politics

Mark Steyn: Ted Olson ‘lazy,’ interracial marriage laws irrelevant to same-sex debate [AUDIO]

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On Hugh Hewitt’s Thursday night radio program, National Review columnist Mark Steyn said former Solicitor General Ted Olson is fundamentally wrong to cite the landmark 1967 Loving v. Virginia case — which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage — as evidence that gay marriage should be legal, because that case fundamentally understood marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Steyn, author of “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” said that unlike laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, restrictions on interracial marriage ran flatly contrary to that generations-old, traditional conception of marriage.

“Ted Olson said, well, you know, once upon a time, we banned interracial marriage, so this is exactly the same as Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 case that struck down interracial marriage,” Steyn said. ”Justice [Anthony] Kennedy said, … ’What are you on about?’ … Interracial marriage is basically an invention of 19th-century America that was at odds with existing common law marriage, as it had been for hundreds of years.”

“So the ban on interracial marriage was the innovation — and a disgusting, localized innovation — in Virginia and other American states, [and it was] at odds with every common-law jurisdiction in the British West Indies, for example, or in India,” he continued. “So in other words, in other common-law traditions, there was hundreds of years of experience with interracial marriage. It’s a completely irrelevant, it’s an entirely irrelevant comparison, and I’m astonished by the laziness of Ted Olson and others who rely on that Loving v. Virginia case.”

Should the Supreme Court heed Olson’s arguments, Styen said, it would be dramatically overstepping its authority.

“I think there is something absurd and ridiculous in an appellate court defining an institution that predates the United States by a couple of millennia,” he said. ”I think that’s taking judicial supremacism to an absolute point of absurdity.”

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