Anticipating the result in the same-sex marriage cases recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit state and local officials from issuing or recognizing the marriage licenses of same-sex couples. Is this really about states' rights or is it just another instance of states' rights being used as code for a license to discriminate?
Sen. Cruz's "State Marriage Defense Act" is unlikely to become law anytime soon. Yet it is a good example of the kind of chaotic reaction the U.S. Supreme Court eventually could unleash if it upheld anti-gay state marriage laws in the case it will hear later this term. Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts, are you listening?
Intellectually, there's a case to be made for the rights of state government in the face of federal power. States pre-existed the federal government. States organized and fought a revolution to break free of a strong central government. Washington is, after all, the creation of a contract among sovereign states.