Nullifying court rulings

NULLIFYING COURT RULINGS…. I can appreciate the fact that some Iowa Republicans are unhappy with the fact that consenting adults can now get married in their state. But that’s no excuse for nonsense like this. (thanks to readers B.D. and M.M.)

“If I have the opportunity to serve as your next governor,” Bob Vander Plaats told a crowd of about 350 people at a rally, “and if no leadership has been taken to that point, on my first day of office I will issue an executive order that puts a stay on same-sex marriages until the people of Iowa vote, and when we vote we can affirm and amend the Constitution.”

When told that governors don’t have that kind of legal authority, Vander Plaats, in the midst of his third gubernatorial campaign, said he would defy the courts anyway: “I believe it is fully within the governor’s rights and as a matter fact, it’s his responsibility to step forward to issue an executive order to say we’re going to take a time out until the people have an opportunity to vote.”

It’s a genuine shame this is necessary, but let’s go ahead and take a moment to remind our right-wing friends about a concept they should have learned in junior-high civics class: Governors can veto legislation passed by state legislatures; governors cannot veto rulings from state Supreme Courts. State officials can’t pick and choose, following court rulings they like, nullifying court rulings they don’t.

There was also this gem:

Co-founder of Everyday America, Bill Salier, told the crowd that state lawmakers need to thank the Supreme Court justices for their opinion but say it’s merely opinion and the law is still on the books.

Salier said: “(Lawmakers) can face down the court and say, ‘We passed DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. You claim that it is stricken. And yet unless some magic eraser came down from the sky, it’s still in code.'”

Got that? Rulings from the state Supreme Court are just “opinions” because the old law remains physically printed in out-of-date books.

Oh my.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.