An unusual event on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, sparked Manu Raju, a CNN Chief Correspondent, to report an interesting, unprovoked verbal exchange. The United States Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) from Florida happened to be sharing an elevator ride with a CNN correspondent and, to his dismay, Tammy Baldwin (D-W) United States Senator from Wisconsin.
According to CNN, as the United States Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was walking onto an elevator he stated to CNN that a vote on a recent bill to codify same-sex marriage was a “stupid waste of time”. Interestingly enough, United States Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin happened to be on the same elevator. Senator Baldwin is the first known gay politician that has been elected to the United States Senate.
Baldwin did tell CNN on Thursday, July 21, 2022, that she did comment to Marco Rubio. She reported to CNN, “ "You probably would have loved to be on the elevator to see the exchange after. The recent Supreme Court decision eroded a constitutional right to privacy. There's a whole bunch of cases that have been decided based on a constitutional right to privacy that is in jeopardy which he disagrees with. And anyway, I said we'll be talking some more.” Her remarks came the same day her fellow Wisconsin senator, Republican Ron Johnson, indicated support for the same-sex marriage bill.
Marco Rubio’s response remains a public mystery as does the fact of whether she was offended by his initial remarks.
Baldwin predicted that the votes needed would include 10 GOP to break a filibuster attempt when the bill eventually comes to the floor.
In effect, Rubio along with other Republican senators, argues the bill is “unnecessary” as it poses no threat to same-sex marriage. The majority Supreme Court opinion from Justice Samuel Alito tried to separate its ruling on abortion from other rulings involving the right to privacy including those related to same-sex marriage. However, a separate opinion conceded that Justice Clarence Thomas calls explicitly for those other rulings to be revisited.
August is the time of the Senate recess. At the present time senators are trying to pass a bill related to boosting the production of semiconductor chips and an unrelated economic package. This ongoing debate is likely to continue until close to the mid-term elections. We will then see what key issues will be highlighted.