Sunday, June 28, 2015

No Respect for Precedent

In his dissent in Lawrence v Texas, Justice Scalia observed:
"If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is 'no legitimate state interest' for purposes of proscribing that conduct ... what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising '[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution?' "
i.e. the logic of the majority opinion in Lawrence led ineluctably to the conclusion that gay marriage should be legal. And as the majority opinion in Lawrence became a legal precedent set by the highest court in the land, so a  lawyerly respect for precedent would have required Scalia and the other Republicans on the Supreme Court to uphold the right of gay people to marry when the issue came before them, no matter their personal views.

Their failure to do so exposed them as ideologues first, lawyers second.

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