U.S. Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said on Sunday Supreme Court justices of his liking would not have legalized same-sex marriage and would have struck down a key provision of a national health care law.
The two landmark rulings last month angered many conservative Americans and several Republican presidential candidates have condemned the decisions.
Christie, who announced last week he was joining the Republican field in the 2016 presidential election, said the Supreme Court’s justices were not conservative enough, and cited his record nominating state judges who oppose “meddling in the business of the executive and legislative branch.”
“If the Christie-type justices had been on that court in the majority, we would have won those cases in the Supreme Court rather than lost them,” he told “Fox News Sunday” in an interview.
Supreme Court decisions play a perennial role in U.S. elections. Justices on the high court are nominated by the president and must be approved by the Senate. They serve life terms.
Some Republican candidates, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, have struck a more conciliatory tone on the gay marriage ruling, criticizing it while also urging the country to move on.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, however, has been strongly critical, telling CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the court’s decision was a “nail in the coffin” for the institution of marriage.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, another Republican presidential hopeful, also criticized the court for what he said was interference in politics and redefining the meaning of marriage.
“It will be destructive,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union”.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz repeated his call that the constitution should be amended so voters could recall Supreme Court justices. Cruz said the court was wading too deeply into policy decisions, including its ruling that upheld the way Washington provides subsidies under President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
“They shouldn’t be rewriting Obamacare,” Cruz told NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Additional reporting by Krista Hughes; and Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry)