Gay Marriage Ruling: What the 4 Dissenters Had to Say
Lines from John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2015 10:14 AM CDT
Updated Jun 26, 2015 1:26 PM CDT
John Roberts' dissent.   (SupremeCourt.gov)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court today declared that gay couples have a right to marry anywhere in America in a 5-4 ruling. In what Politico calls a "rare occurrence," each of the four dissenters penned their own dissent. Here's what they wrote:

  • John Roberts: "If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."

  • Antonin Scalia: "I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy. ... It is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. 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. ... 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."
  • Clarence Thomas: "Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away. The majority’s musings are thus deeply misguided, but at least those musings can have no effect on the dignity of the persons the majority demeans."
  • Samuel Alito: "Today’s decision will also have a fundamental effect on this Court and its ability to uphold the rule of law. If a bare majority of Justices can invent a new right and impose that right on the rest of the country, the only real limit on what future majorities will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate. Even enthusiastic supporters of same-sex marriage should worry about the scope of the power that today’s majority claims. Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of its authority have failed."
As Vox points out, the entirety of Scalia's dissent is colorful: he refers to hippies, judicial "Putsch," and hiding his head "in a bag." All dissents in full here.
 

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