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.