The Magazine

From California with Love

Why same-sex marriage will inevitably become a national issue this fall.

Jun 2, 2008, Vol. 13, No. 36 • By JEFFREY BELL
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Needless to say, Obama also opposes amending the U.S. Constitution to protect traditional marriage, even though with DOMA overturned or repealed a federal amendment would become the only possible means of achieving that end. (McCain has also opposed the federal amendment, but he has indicated he will endorse it if the state-by-state decision-making he favors becomes impossible.)

Finally, the California decision brings front and center the two candidates' views of judicial appointments. McCain is committed to selecting advocates of judicial restraint, along the lines of recently confirmed justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Obama voted against both Roberts and Alito. His criteria for selection would be "what is in the judge's heart" and "one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one's empathy."

Thanks in large part to four justices in California, the choices on November 4, in the nation as well as in California, could not be clearer or more consequential.

Jeffrey Bell, a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is writing a book on social conservatism to be published by Encounter Books in 2009.