Has our nation traded the rule of law for the rule of lawyers? Critics would say so. And this week’s Supreme Court rulings — most notably Friday's 5-4 decision on faux marriage — could be their Exhibit A.
Friday's ruling, stating that same-sex couples have a “right” to “marry” in all 50 states, went down precisely as critics had predicted — and feared. Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with the Court’s four most liberal judges — Elena Kagan, Sonya Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer — in the promotion of faux marriage; he also wrote the majority opinion. Justices Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito were on the opposing side, with each writing his own dissent.
Scalia was scathing in his denunciation of the majority opinion, calling the Court a “threat to American democracy,” characterizing its opinion as “lacking even a thin veneer of law,” and writing that it “is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic.” Chief Justice Roberts, known for his own activist lawyercraft in the Court’s infamous ObamaCare decisions, wrote that the “court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us." Roberts perhaps felt particularly strongly about today’s decision as he read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so during his almost decade-long tenure. And putting matters in no uncertain terms, he said to faux marriage advocates, “By all means celebrate today's decision.... But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."
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