There are five conservative Justices on the Supreme Court and four that are liberal. That means we need a conservative to do the right thing and stand up for marriage equality. Is such a thing possible?
Anthony Scalia Is a Bigot
Well, Justice Scalia can be ruled out right off the bat. He’s a smug bigot who shields himself with the constitution but has little regard for it, favoring his own religious and conservative ideology over common sense or common decency. Fortunately Scalia’s bigotry and prejudicial comments are not above reproach. Here’s a fun moment from today’s debate on Prop 8:
“We don’t prescribe law for the future,” Scalia said. “We decide what the law is. I’m curious, when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868? When the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted?”
Olson countered that with a question of his own, bringing up two past high-profile cases involving discrimination.
“When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriages? When did it become unconstitutional to assign children to separate schools?” Olson asked. [ businessinsider.com ]
How do like them apples, Scalia? For my taste, he had his intellectual ass handed to him in that exchange. But enough of Scalia, he’s not worth the time, though perhaps his candid distaste for equal rights will serve against his goals.
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Justice Kennedy is one contender for a conservative to step up to the bat. Despite the fact that later on in the day he made remarks that leaned against the below quote by questioning whether the court should have accepted the case in the first place, the words he spoke will be difficult for him to swallow back once uttered.
Justice Anthony Kennedy — widely viewed as the pivotal swing vote — got pulses racing early in today’s same-sex-marriage argument at the Supreme Court. There is “immediate legal injury” being done to 40,000 California children being raised by same-sex parents who are not allowed to marry, he insisted. These children “want their parents to have full recognition and full status,” he said — and “the voice of those children is important in this case.” [ ideas.time.com ]
An Exchange Between Justice Sotomayor and Mr. Cooper
Conservative Attorney Charles Cooper is a staunch anti-gay marriage advocate. While he is not one of the Justices, the below exchange between him and the liberal Justice Sotomayor gives further insight into the flow of the discourse.
The court’s four liberals, meanwhile, aggressively questioned Mr. Cooper. Justice Sonia Sotomayor pushed him to explain what other forms of discrimination against homosexuals he found acceptable. “Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other…reason for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them?” she asked. “Your Honor, I cannot,” Mr. Cooper said. [ online.wsj.com ]
It’s too early in the game to know how the vote will turn out, but the country is steadily shifting towards favoring the notion of marriage equality. Among voters ranging from 18-39, polls have shown up to 70% have indicated they’re in favor of marriage equality, with 58% of the US electorate in favor overall. The arguments against marriage equality are being seen as increasingly archaic at best, and bigoted at worst. It is going to happen, history will be on the side of progressives. It is inevitable.