LGBT

Conservatives Justices Call For Overturning Gay Marriage

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Remember Kim Davis? The county clerk from Kentucky who refused to issue same-sex marriage certificates.

I'm sorry for reminding you of her.

Anyway -- the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in her case this morning because marriage equality is the law of the land thanks to the Supreme Court's previous ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, but it's that ruling that two conservatives justices called for overturning today.

The Court's rejection of the Davis appeal is good, but Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito made it clear they would overturn the court's previous ruling if they get a chance to. Their dissent in today's rejection says the court can and should overturn Obergefell.

Thomas wrote that the decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, "enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots, making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss." [...]

Thomas called Davis "one of the first victims" of the court's "cavalier treatment of religion" in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision but warned "she will not be the last." He said that her case was not properly presented before the court, but he urged his colleagues to revisit the religious liberty implications of the landmark opinion down the road.

He warned that the court had chosen to "privilege" a "novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, any by doing so undemocratically, the Court has created a problem that only it can fix."

Thomas is saying one amendment of the constitution, the First Amendment, is more important or more valid than another amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, which calls for equal protection under the law.

Thomas is saying this because he is personally a bigot and his bigotry steers nearly all of his judicial opinions. He is the epitome of an "activist judge."

Thomas wrote that gay marriage should have been decided by states, not the Supreme Court, but that makes me wonder how he feels about segregation. If that was left up to states, some states may still be segregated today. That applies to gay marriage and minority rights in general.

There is a risk that the conservative-dominated Supreme Court will actually find an opportunity to strike down their previous rulings -- even recent rulings like Obergerfell -- if Republicans ram through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.

The strongest liberal case for expanding or "packing" the court to compensate for seats stolen by the GOP may be to save the court from itself; to save the court from becoming illegitimate and opening the doorway to states straight up ignoring the court in the legal interests of their own residents. That would be an ugly outcome but it may be necessary if the conservative court literally threatens modern life and society.

A handful of bigots do not get to decide whose relationship is valid.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Can someone explain to me, once and for all, just how exactly the “religious freedom” of those people over there is affected in any way by these people over here getting married?

    When one side says “You want to practice that religion, then be my guest. Go ahead. Knock yourself out. Just leave me alone while doing it.” and the other side says “I don’t like what you’re doing, so you you shouldn’t be allowed to do it.” it really, really clear which side is trying to take freedom away from someone.
    .

  • Christopher Foxx

    Obergefell v. Hodges, “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots, making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss.”

    This is how they like to frame it, and it’s an utter bullshit argument. Like everything else from the “conservative” right, it’s the exact opposite of the truth. They claim their “religious liberty” is being taken away, that others are forcing their views on them, when in reality, they are the ones trying to force their views on others.

    Nobody is telling them what they can and can’t believe. If they want to believe same sex marriages are sinful, they can do that if they feel it’s the right thing to do.
    What they are being told is that they can’t stop others from doing what they believe is the right thing to do.

  • Aynwrong

    Unreal. Un-fucking-real. But also completely unsurprising. The fact that conservatives are this pathologically obsessed with undoing the rights of people they don’t believe should have any is the most predictable of developments.

    “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots…”
    If you oppose gay marriage, you are a bigot.

    “…making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss.”
    No it doesn’t. They have the liberty to be as religious as they want , they simply don’t have the “liberty” to deprive others of their ACTUAL liberties based on their God damned religion.

    This is all just stating the obvious of course.

    • Christopher Foxx

      “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots…”

      Oh, oh, can I play?

      “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that black people are inherently inferior as racists…”

      “…who believe that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote as misogynists…”

  • muselet

    Thomas called Davis “one of the first victims” of the court’s “cavalier treatment of religion” in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision but warned “she will not be the last.” He said that her case was not properly presented before the court, but he urged his colleagues to revisit the religious liberty implications of the landmark opinion down the road.

    Most of that is pseudo-legal gibberish, but the bit that caught my eye was this: “He said that her case was not properly presented before the court .…”

    Clarence Thomas needs to decide whether he is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court or a litigant arguing before the Supremes. If he is the latter, then he has an argument that is not facially absurd; however, if he is the former, it is not his bloody concern whether Kim Davis’s case was “properly presented.”

    Same for Samuel Alito.

    Indeed, if this bothers them so much, the obvious course is for them to resign from the Supreme Court and join some anti-LGBTQ law firm. I’m sure they’d be much happier there.

    –alopecia

    • Christopher Foxx

      I’d certainly be much happier with them there.