'Threat to Democracy': See the 4 Justices' Dissents on Gay Marriage Ruling
In a historic 5-4 decision issued this morning, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states.
The decision strikes down bans on gay marriage in 14 states. Justice Anthony Kennedy was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan in the majority.
The four other justices offered some strong rebukes to the decision, with each of them issuing their own dissent.
Read some quotes below. You can see the full ruling, here. In the clip above, see Judge Napolitano's take on the ruling on "Outnumbered."
Justice Antonin Scalia offered a scathing dissent to the ruling on ObamaCare subsidies yesterday. Today, he lambasted the majority's decision as "posing a threat to American democracy."
The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic.
Hubris is sometimes defined as o'erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall. The Judiciary is the "least dangerous" of the federal branches because it has "neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm" and the States, "even for the efficacy of its judgments." 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.
The five Justices who compose today's majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment's ratification and Massachusetts' permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a "fundamental right" overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since. . . . And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.
Chief Justice John Roberts was roundly criticized by conservatives Thursday for once again upholding ObamaCare.
But today, Roberts was among the dissenters...
... the majority's approach has no basis in principle or tradition, except for the unprincipled tradition of judicial policymaking that characterized discredited decisions ...
The majority's decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court's precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial "caution" and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own "new insight" into the "nature of injustice."
The Court today not only overlooks our country's entire history and tradition but actively repudiates it, preferring to live only in the heady days of the here and now.
The truth is that today's decision rests on nothing more than the majority's own conviction that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry because they want to, and that "it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right." . Whatever force that belief may have as a matter of moral philosophy, it has no more basis in the Constitution than did the naked policy preference.
The Court's accumulation of power does not occur in a vacuum. It comes at the expense of the people.
Justice Samuel Alito:
Today's decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage.
The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women.
Today's decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court's abuse of its authority have failed.
Justice Clarence Thomas:
The Court's decision today is at odds not only with the Constitution, but with the principles upon which our Nation was built.
Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal"and "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights," they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built. The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. 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.