Scalia's 'Shameful Joke' Speaks Volumes

Jeffrey Toobin: It shows how out of step he is on gay marriage
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2015 1:55 PM CDT
Scalia's 'Shameful Joke' Speaks Volumes
This artist rendering shows John Bursch defending state laws on same-sex marriage. From left, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia,, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito Jr. and Elena Kagan.   (AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren)

(Newser) – After a protester interrupted yesterday's Supreme Court hearing on gay marriage to scream about how supporters will burn in hell, Antonin Scalia quipped from the bench that "it was rather refreshing, actually." It was a joke, sure, but "there’s every reason to believe that Scalia more or less shared the protester’s view of the immorality of homosexuality," writes Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker. The joke stood in contrast to the "respectful tone" of the other justices during questioning, even those presumably opposed to the idea of same-sex marriage.

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"It is one measure of the success of the gay-rights movement that all the other Justices felt compelled to phrase their questions in ways that honored the humanity of gay people," writes Toobin. He thinks the court will rule in favor of gay marriage, but the arguments alone showed how far the country and the court have come on the matter of gay rights. "On this issue at least, it’s not Scalia’s Court anymore." Click for Toobin's full column. (Read more Antonin Scalia stories.)

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