Justice Scalia Rips Apart Gay ‘Marriage’ Ruling

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 26, 2015   

He authors his most sharply worded dissent yet

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Gay "marriage" is now the law of the land. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision was split along the expected lines: Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. The dissenting bloc consisted of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito, each who wrote their own separate dissents — a rarity that indicates a very strong reaction to the ruling.

Although Justice Scalia is known best for his articulate and scathing dissents, his dissent in Obergefell is his most sharply worded yet. In his very first sentence he warns about the "threat to American democracy" this decision represents. Referring to the majority opinion as "pretentious," egotistic," a "judicial Putsch" full of "silly extravagances" and "showy profundities," he spends most of his complaint on one central theme: the abuse of the judicial branch demonstrated by the Supreme Court's overreach in this case, which has stepped outside of the scope of its authority and usurped the authority of the legislative branch (and thus the will of the people) by dictating radical social policy to all American citizens — policy that rightly belongs within the democratic process to hammer out. Marriage, an issue traditionally left to the states to govern, has now become, by judicial fiat, a federal issue.

Today's decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact — and the furthest extension one can even imagine — of the Court's claimed power to create "liberties" that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.  

After explaining the appropriateness of the democratic process to determine the question of same-sex "marriage" — a process Scalia claims was working fine in the various states — he goes on to condemn today's decision as "lacking even a thin veneer of law." The ruling was nothing more than a "naked judicial claim to legislative — indeed, super-legislative — power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government." 

"A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy."

And in a scathing indictment of his fellow justices who voted in favor of this novel social right, Scalia continues, "[T]o allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation."

Scalia predicts today's ruling will further lower the Court's credibility. "The stuff contained in today’s opinion has to diminish this Court's reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis."

He ends on a sobering note. "With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them — with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the 'reasoned judgment' of a bare majority of this Court — we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence."

Read the full dissent here.

 

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Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

Christine Niles is executive producer and editor-in-chief at ChurchMilitant.com.

Follow Christine on Twitter: @ChristineNiles1