“If you are one of the many Americans– of whatever sexual orientation– who favor expanded same sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
That was how Chief Justice John Roberts wrapped up his dissent in last friday’s 5-4 decision, which legalized Same-Sex Marriage nation wide. In the beginning, he writes
“….that position has undeniable appeal. Over the past six years, voters and legislators in 11 states and the District of Columbia have revised their laws to allow marriage between people of the same sex. But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, Judges have the power to say what the law is, not what it should be.”
Roberts joined with Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Alito in declaring that the Court had no authority to legalize same-sex marriage.
I agree with Roberts. The Court had no authority to make this decision, and I believe that the Majority Opinion was never rooted in legal argument, but rather in Judicial Activism. The argument put forth by Mr. Obergefell was shaky at best; he used the equal protection clause to argue that the law should legalize same sex marriage. That is dangerous ground for the court to tread, and sets an equally dangerous precedent.
All of the Justices in the Court are talented, extremely intelligent legal minds with the power interpret the Constitution, legislation, and to strike down legislation incompatible with the Constitution. Unfortunately, 5 of these Justices chose to put a policy vision above legal reasoning.
Whether you hold the opinion that Same-Sex Couples should marry or the opinion that they should not, please realize that Thursday’s decision had, in truth, nothing to do with the 14th amendment, and everything to do with a political goal.