Friday, June 26, 2015

U.S. Supremes: 14th Amendment Means Same-Sex Couples May Marry

Hot off the SCOTUS blog:

The U.S. Supreme Court, voting 5-4, holds that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. And all states must recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when a marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding same-sex marriage bans in several states is reversed.

It's clear that the Court's opinion relies on the dual rationales of fundamental rights AND equal protection.

Chief Justice John Roberts is back on the conservative reservation for his dissent. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito also wrote their own dissents.

Chief Justice Roberts has the principal dissent, which is 31 pages long. Toward the end of it, he says, "If you are among the many Americans -- of whatever sexual orientation -- who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."

O-kay then.

From the majority opinion, addressing the role of history in the constitutional analysis: "The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a character protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning."

"The dissents [by Scalia, Thomas, and Alito] are extremely strident." Chief Justice Roberts took a wholly different, conciliatory tone in his.

1 comment:

Opinionated said...

Scalia's opinions are now being called "lemontations". Personally, I like Constitutional interpretations that stress equal rights and equal protections.