Mar 8, 2014
Scalia Freaks Out in Gay Marriage Dissent
Posted on Jun 26, 2013
Justice Antonin Scalia had what amounts to the equivalent of a legal meltdown in the dissent he wrote for the Defense of Marriage Act case, dismissing the majority opinion as “legalistic argle-bargle” and claiming that it promoted “homosexual sodomy.”
“When the Court declared a constitutional right to homosexual sodomy, we were assured that the case had nothing, nothing at all to do with ‘whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter,’ he wrote. “Now we are told that DOMA is invalid because it ‘demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects,’ ante, at 23—with an accompanying citation of Lawrence.”
Scalia also issued a stern rebuke of Justice Anthony Kennedy—who wrote the 5-4 majority opinion—and the justices who signed on to it, accusing them of painting gay marriage opponents as “enemies of the human race.” Talk about overly dramatic!
He wrote: “But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to ‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change, it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.”
Scalia’s rage over Wednesday’s decision—at least in the Defense of Marriage Act case—perhaps can best be characterized by comedian Andy Borowitz, who wrote a satirical item for The New Yorker in which he envisioned an angry Scalia getting arrested after attempting to burn down the Supreme Court over its ruling.
In a fitting touch, Borowitz wrote, “Back at the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia’s colleagues said they hoped he would get the help he needed, except for Justice Clarence Thomas, who said nothing.”
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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