Alex Hayes, liberal Republican and executive director of the state's first political action committee for judicial races, the Constitutional Law PAC, says gay marriage should be decided by the Legislature. Hayes, who describes himself as a pro-gay-rights, pro-choice Roman Catholic, was responding to my rant this week about gay marriage. Hayes says if the state Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal, then it will become a highly politicized issue for decades—like Roe v. Wade. Hayes believes that if, instead, the Supreme Court kicks the decision to the Legislature and lawmakers legalize same-sex unions, people will accept gay marriage much more readily. Hayes says such an approach is consistent with his "centrist" vision of where the court should be headed.
The problem with Hayes' claim of centrism, which seems very sincere, is that he was the campaign manager for state Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson, who has so far turned out to be a statist conservative in the mode of Antonin Scalia—religious right on social issues, prosecutorial on criminal defense cases, and libertarian on property rights.