In controversial cases, is the role of jurist to inflame controversy, or quell it?
In Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 case which found race-based marriage bans unconstitutional, Chief Justice Earl Warren built a 9-0 consensus—just as he’d done years earlier inBrown vs. Board of Education. He knew that a country divided by race ought to be united, if possible, by a Supreme Court mindful of fundamental values—even if the Court was, as the constitution requires, overturning the will of the majority.
The four dissents in the landmark case on same-sex marriage,Obergefell v. Hodges, one by each of the conservative justices on today’s Supreme Court, take a very different view. With invective and hyperbole, they pour fuel on the fire of the controversy over same-sex marriage. Rather than merely state their views and disagreements, they use heated language to accuse the five-person majority of imperialism, a “putsch,” and worse.
Thus, the unprecedented calls of elected officials for open revolt against the Supreme Court—a shocking display of treason—are now accompanied by calls from within the Court itself that Obergefellis illegitimate, and the Supreme Court itself no longer worthy of full respect.
Ironically, in alleging a new low for the Court, these four justices have brought one into being. Justice Scalia has, as usual, grabbed the spotlight with juvenile taunting usually reserved for the playground. But in fact, all four opinions are shocking.
Written by JAY MICHAELSON
Full story at The Daily Beast