Nebraska has dropped its appeal of a federal court ruling striking down the state ban on same-sex marriage.
The action comes in wake of the United States Supreme Court ruling granting same-sex couples across the nation the right to marry.
Attorney General Doug Peterson says the state will comply with the ruling.
That doesn’t mean he agrees with it.
Peterson says the opinion doesn’t seem to be based on a recognized constitutional right.
“But, rather it is more of an outcome that the court wanted to get to, more of a public policy approach and public policy should be defined by the legislative branch, not the judicial branch,” Peterson tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Peterson cautions those applauding the ruling.
“Some people may find that they approve of the ruling today, but there can be another time where they again create a constitutional right that someone may not be happy about,” according to Peterson. “I don’t think the framers of our Constitution wanted to give that much power to the Supreme Court.”
In 2000, Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment that limited marriage to one man, one woman. It survived an earlier challenge in federal court, but faced a second one. That latest challenge was suspended while the United States Supreme Court took up the issue.
Peterson says the courts have historically left the definition of marriage up to the states, but the Supreme Court ruling today changes that.
“Because, I think, of the tide that’s changed across the country. That’s not what courts should do. They should stay to the rule of law and not be dictated by what the current, popular theme is, because frankly some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you,” Peterson says. “If people like courts acting outside the scope of the Constitution, it may be good for them one day and it may be down the road something that they’re going to disdain.”
Peterson says basing the Supreme Court ruling on the 14th Amendment is a bit of a stretch.