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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during swearing-in ceremonies on the West front of the U.S Capitol in Washington, January 21, 2013.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS)
President Obama said Friday that, if he was on the Supreme Court, he would rule in favor of marriage equality. His administration's amicus brief in the Prop 8 case made a more limited argument for marriage equality in states that already have civil unions laws for same-sex couples, and, answering questions at his sequester press conference, Obama defended that decision, saying that "The Solicitor General in his institutional role going before the Supreme Court is obliged to answer the specific question before them. And the specific question presented before the Court right now is whether Prop 8 and the California law is unconstitutional." But he continued:
And what we’ve said is, is that same-sex couples are a group, a class that deserves heightened scrutiny, that the Supreme Court needs to ask the state why it’s doing it. And if the state doesn't have a good reason, it should be struck down. That's the core principle as applied to this case.

Now, the Court may decide that if it doesn't apply in this case, it probably can't apply in any case. There’s no good reason for it. If I were on the Court, that would probably be the view that I’d put forward. But I’m not a judge, I’m the President.

As Adam B wrote of the administration's brief, "there was an opportunity for boldness here, and the Obama administration did not take it." Though defending that relative procedural moderation, Obama's answer Friday emphasized that his own stance on equality would be more bold.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:01 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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