Same sex marriage opponents camp out early in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 26, 2015, to await the Court's ruling on the ability of same sex couples to marry. The 5-4 ruling in favor was announced that legalizes the ability for same-sex couples to marry nationwide. Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, June 27 (UPI) -- Conservative Texas senator and 2016 presidential hopeful Ted Cruz left no doubt about his feelings on the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision Friday, which declared state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional.
The high court ruled 5-to-4 Friday that marriage laws must apply equally to same-sex couples, and that state or federal laws to the contrary are unconstitutional.
Many citizens and lawmakers nationwide have championed the landmark ruling as a major victory in the struggle for equality under the law. Some conservative Republicans, though, have not spoken highly of the Supreme Court's verdict.
Cruz, who has been running his campaign largely in accordance with his Christian beliefs, told a crowd of supporters Friday that his feeling on the matter is very clear.
"This is not a typical moment in American history," Cruz told a crowd in Iowa. "The last 24 hours at the United States Supreme Court were among the darkest hours of our nation."
The 2016 Republican hopeful has strenuously voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage on numerous occasions while stumping.
"This week, we have twice seen Supreme Court justices violating their judicial oaths," Cruz wrote in an op-ed for the National Review. "Sadly, the political reaction from the leaders of my party is all too predictable. They will pretend to be incensed, and then plan to do absolutely nothing."
Cruz said he has even proposed a constitutional amendment regarding the restriction of "marriage" as a union between a man and a woman.
"I have already introduced a constitutional amendment to preserve the authority of elected state legislatures to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman," he said. "And also legislation stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction over legal assaults on marriage."
In fact, Cruz is so disappointed in the Supreme Court that his proposal also calls for one step unprecedented in U.S. history -- a "retention election" every eight years in which American voters will decide whether each of the Supreme Court justices stays on the high court bench or is removed. Currently, voters have no say in the matter -- as justices are nominated by the president and confirmed in Congress.
"Every justice, beginning with the second national election after his or her appointment, will answer to the American people and the states in a retention election every eight years," he wrote. "Those justices deemed unfit for retention by both a majority of the American people as a whole and by majorities of the electorates in at least half of the 50 states will be removed from office and disqualified from future service on the Court."
"This week's opinions are but the latest in a long line of judicial assaults on our Constitution and the common-sense values that have made America great," he wrote. "Enough is enough."
"This must stop. Liberty is in the balance."