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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Courts - "Judges build on Supreme Court’s Windsor ruling to extend gay rights" [Updated]

Alison Frankel writes at the "On the Case" blog at Reuters in an entry that begins:

Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court got at least one thing right in his controversial dissent last term in U.S. v. Windsor, the case that struck down federal prohibitions on same-sex marriage as an unconstitutional intrusion on the equal rights of gays and lesbians. In a 5-to-4 opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the majority said its ruling addressed only the conflict between the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the laws of states that have approved same-sex marriage, not the right of a state to bar same-sex marriages. Chief Justice John Roberts’s dissent emphasized the limited scope of the ruling. But Justice Scalia predicted otherwise.

“By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition,” he wrote, in one of his dissent’s many hectoring passages. “Henceforth those challengers will lead with this court’s declaration that there is ‘no legitimate purpose’ served by such a law, and will claim that the traditional definition has ‘the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure’ the ‘personhood and dignity’ of same-sex couples, The majority’s limiting assurance will be meaningless in the face of language like that, as the majority well knows.”

[Updated at 2 PM] See also this article today at Constitution Center, by Lyle Denniston. It begins:
Lyle Denniston says the question of the correct constitutional standard about same-sex marriage is going to reach the Supreme Court in a way that can no longer be avoided

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 23, 2014 08:25 AM
Posted to Courts in general