Monday, July 15, 2013

Antonin Scalia’s gay marriage mystery

Antonin Scalia’s gay marriage mystery "The alliances were unusual. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 5-4 decision, joined by Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Breyer and Elena Kagan. The dissenters, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonya Sotomayor, thought the Court should decide the issue, though they surely would have split on the result.

So here’s the puzzle. Why did Scalia, who has angrily dissented from every gay rights victory in the Supreme Court, join Roberts’ decision without protest? And why are conservatives not screaming at him for doing that?

Scalia’s vote is the most mysterious of the nine. Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan are liberal justices who are probably friendly to same-sex marriage, though Ginsburg’s publicly expressed doubts about Roe v. Wade suggest that she may be reluctant to try to resolve that issue for the whole country. Roberts is a pro-business conservative whose views on gay rights are unknown. But why didn’t Scalia at least write a separate opinion, pointing out that the district court’s order was improperly broad?"

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