Friday, June 26, 2015

Why Four Justices Were Against the Supreme Court's Huge Gay Marriage Decision

June 26, 2015 Same-sex marriage is now a right in every state in the country, following ahistoric 5-4 decision from the Supreme Court Friday. The four justices who disagreed with the Court's opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, each wrote their own dissent laying out just why they believed the majority to be wrong.
Here's their reasoning.
Chief Justice John Roberts
Roberts argument centered around the need to preserve states' rights over what he viewed as following the turn of public opinion. In ruling in favor of gay marriage, he said "five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law."
While Roberts said he did not "begrudge" any of the celebrations that would follow the Court ruling, he had serious concerns that the Court had extended its role from Constitutional enforcer to activist.
"Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law," he wrote.
While, he recognized the decision would be hailed as a major victory for same-sex couples and their allies, he noted they had been set back.
"Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today," Roberts wrote. "Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept."
Justice Antonin Scalia
According to Justice Antonin Scalia, today's majority ruling represents a "judicial Putsch."
In beginning his dissent, Scalia wrote that while he has no personal opinions on whether the law should allow same-sex marriage, he feels very strongly that it is not the place of the Supreme Court to decide. He stated he wanted to write a separate dissent "to call attention to this Court's threat to American democracy."
"Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best," Scalia wrote. "But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law."

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