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Rick Santorum Supported The Judge Who Just Struck Down Pennsylvania's Gay Marriage Ban

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U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) during a December 15, 2002 taping of NBC's
U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) during a December 15, 2002 taping of NBC's "Meet The Press" in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

As Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban fell in court on Tuesday, the judge behind the ruling has a history of support from a notable Republican name.

U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III has served the Middle District Of Pennsylvania since 2002. He was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July of that year, and one of his supporters leading up to that decision was then-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

Via Slate's David Weigel, who unearthed Santorum's March 2002 comments after Jones' nomination:

“Attorneys Jones and Conner are highly qualified to assume the important role of Judge and the duty of protecting the Constitution and ensuring the effective operation of our judicial system,” Santorum said. “Since the onset of the war against terrorism, our federal judiciary has taken on an even higher level of importance, and it is imperative that we provide our courts with the resources necessary to enforce the rule of law. These judgeships are vital to our national security goals, and I urge my colleagues to work with the President to fill these vacancies in a timely manner.”

In a November 2013 interview with "The Colbert Report," Santorum was asked whether traditional marriage advocates have lost the issue against legalizing benefits for same-sex couples.

"I think the real problem here is marriage has slipped away from us," Santorum said. "Marriage has devolved into just a romantic relationship between two people. And that's not what marriage is."

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