The Highlights From Antonin Scalia's Marriage Equality Dissent

| by Sean Kelly

Justice Antonin Scalia was one of four Supreme Court Justices who opposed the decision to make marriage equality the law of the land, and his dissent has many people talking.

“I join THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy,” Scalia wrote. “The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best.”

Scalia went on to criticize the majority opinion’s views on marriage. 

“The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality,” he quoted from the majority opinion.

“Really?” Scalia responded. “Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie."

Scalia also slammed the tone of the majority opinion, saying that it is “couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic.”

“If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: 'The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,' I would hide my head in a bag," the dissent continues. "The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.

“And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation,” he added. “But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch."

Sources: Huffington Post, The Verge

Photo Credit: WikiCommons, huffingtonpost.com