On Friday the New Jersey Supreme Court denied a stay in the same-sex marriage litigation, allowing marriages to begin today. Today, Governor Christie announced that he’s withdrawing the state’s appeal. That seals the deal. I guess I won’t be finishing that essay I was writing about New Jersey’s civil unions.
I’ve seen some criticism from the right of Governor Christie’s conduct. But this isn’t quite like when executives in other states have declined to appeal trial court rulings against them. As I explained Friday, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling made quite clear how it was going to decide the case (a little hastily, it seems to me, but it’s their prerogative). And the ruling appears to have been based on state law, so there would have been no basis for involving the Supreme Court. Under those circumstances, it seems reasonable for Christie to conclude that any further challenges would be pointless — even if we assume that he actually wanted to win the litigation.