News » SCOTUS Marriage Dissenters Taken To Task

SCOTUS Marriage Dissenters Taken To Task

<<enter caption here>> on September 29, 2009 in Washington, DC.

June 30, 2015

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling last week in Obergefell v. Hodges, establishing the right for gay and lesbian Americans in all 50 states to enter into marriage unions, elicited fiery missives from all four conservative justices dissenting in the case. Chief Justice Roberts read his dissent aloud from the bench for the first time in his tenure on the Court. The justices’ opposition was met by swift criticism over the weekend. Roberts’ dissent is “nonsense” and “heartless,” and Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent “makes no sense,” says Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and University of Chicago law prof Richard A. Posner in Slate. Roberts said that marriage has been defined for millennia as a union of one man and one woman. “Who do we think we are?” he asked. But gay citizens “are hurt by the discrimination that the dissenting justices condone,” because “Prohibiting gay marriage is discrimination,” Posner argued [emphasis original].

The dissenting justices’ outspoken anger was also noted outside the legal sphere, where satirical newspaper The Onion ran the headline: “Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito Suddenly Realize They Will Be Villains In Oscar-Winning Movie One Day.” And comedian Stephen Colbert, set to take over for the retired David Letterman as host of The Late Show, released a video mocking the dissenters, titled, “June is a Lovely Time For a Wedding.”

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