I’ve been reading analysis for a while on how the Supreme Court might rule on same-sex marriage. The consensus boils down to three possibilities: they can make a strong, sweeping decision to strike down all anti-marriage bans, they could make the less definite decision to require all states to recognise same-sex marriages performed in other states, or they could decide to do nothing.
I consider the last extremely unlikely.
In my opinion, the justices’ decision, strong or weak (my terminology), will mean that same-sex marriage is valid everywhere in this country. But a weak decision means that, for many, life will remain difficult: if they are too ill or poor or busy (looking after a sick parent, for example) to travel out of state for a wedding.
I hope, therefore, that it will be the strong decision. Perhaps it’s just because I’m a recent citizen and still have (some) faith in this country’s constitution and judicial system but I can’t accept that Chief Justice Roberts, with an eye towards his legacy, will opt for the wishy-washy choice. And real lives are in the balance here. My life, others’ lives. Once we can legally marry everywhere, we are no longer second class citizens in our own country. Once, in the eyes of the law, we are equal, attitudes shift. It’s not magic—you only have to look at what going on in Baltimore to understand that—but it’s a beginning.
So, yes, in June, when the Supreme Court is most likely to deliver their decision, I will have Champagne on ice, waiting.
2 thoughts on “Same-sex marriage hearing at the Supreme Court”
We have allowed the media to trivialize Supreme Court decisions by allowing them to report them as if they were sports scores. I agree that a ‘do nothing’ response is unlikely. I feel a bold statement is unlikely as well. When I studied constitutional law in college I found that oftentimes in major decisions the justices wrote more than two opinions in response to an issue. A majority may be in agreement to their overall response to the case, but being human they arrive at that agreement through the persuasiveness of different arguments. Reporting court results as sports scores tells us nothing about the past, present, and future context of the decision. Americans say they want a bold statement to be made, but what they really mean is they want a bold statement that supports their views. For the Supreme Court having the opportunity to make a bold statement provides the opportunity to make a of a bold statement that will taint their legacy.
“Allow” is an interesting verb when it comes to the fourth estate.
I’m reading the transcripts of the hearing now. I may have an addendum tomorrow. Of course, I may not. Let’s see how it looks…
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