Breaking news coming out of the Supreme Court, two high-profile conservative justices just suggested that the court should overturn same-sex marriage rights. In what amounts to a novella-length rant, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito slammed the Obergefell decision, among other things. Read on for the full story.
Supreme Court Justices Alito & Thomas Suggest Over-Turning Same-Sex Marriage Rights, Slamming Obergefell Decision
Earlier today, the Supreme Court collectively decided not to hear the case of Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because doing so would violate her religious beliefs. When two couples sued Davis and won the right to seek damages from her (not the case, just the right to sue), Davis’ lawyers tried to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. As the highest court ruled against hearing the case, the couples’ right to sue stands.
Far-right conservative justices Clarence (who, as you recall, was accused of sexual harassment) and Alito (who compared same-sex desire to rape) did say within the pages of their 55+ page rant that they agreed with the decision not to hear Davis’ case. However, throughout their rant, the justices refer to Davis as a “victim” and imply that marriage equality is a “novel constitutional right.” Queerty and Heavy published some key passages from the text, which include:
Davis may have been one of the first victims of this Court’s cavalier treatment of religion in its Obergefell decision, but she will not be the last. Due to Obergefell, those with sincerely held religious beliefs concerning marriage will find it increasingly difficult to participate in society without running afoul of Obergefell and its effect on other antidiscrimination laws.…
By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the Court has created a problem that only it can fix. Until then, Obergefell will continue to have “ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”
That last part regarding the “problem” only the Supreme Court can fix has LGBTQ advocates incredibly worried, especially with the likely confirmation of the anti-LGBTQ judge Amy Coney Barrett. A woman who, by the way, belongs to a religious group that not only abhors gay marriage but also requires their women to run any and all decisions by their husbands.
First day of the SCOTUS term and Alito & Thomas call for the overturning of Obergefell. pic.twitter.com/IwejJL6dGX
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) October 5, 2020
Not the first time Thomas slammed same-sex marriage equality
This is not Thomas’ first time suggesting that the court should overturn Obergefell. Just last year, he shared his sentiments about getting that decision back in front of the Supreme Court. In a statement regarding Gamble vs. United States, Thomas stated that “the high court should revisit its use of the “stare decisis” doctrine, which gives weight to precedent set by previous rulings and only overturning them if there is compelling reason to do so.”
He cited one of the Justices who voted against same-sex marriage equality, John Roberts. Thomas wrote,
“In my view, the Court’s typical formulation of the stare decisis standard does not comport with our judicial duty under Article III because it elevates demonstrably erroneous decisions—meaning decisions outside the realm of permissible interpretation—over the text of the Constitution and other duly enacted federal law.”
Although the news just broke earlier today, Twitter is already a buzz over the news. Pete Buttigieg tweeted:
Just a reminder that overturning #Obergefell (gay marriage) is in the Republican Party’s official platform. Alito and Thomas just signaled their wishes to overturn it and we already know where Barrett stands on the issue. Please vote.
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) October 5, 2020
George Takei, who started the Proud Boys hashtag takeover yesterday, said,
With Thomas and Alito terrifyingly writing today that they would overturn Obergefell (the same-sex marriage case), and Roberts already on record against it, my own marriage hangs by a thread. Barrett would makes 4. Kavanaugh? Gorsuch? I’m shaking in rage and dread.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 5, 2020
Akiva Cohen, an Orthodox Jew, chimed in with his own thoughts,
I'm an Orthodox Jew. With Orthodox Jewish beliefs on these issues.
Obergefell poses exactly ZERO problem for freedom of religion and Davis had exactly ZERO religious entitlement to refuse to do her job. This is straight garbage https://t.co/Jr1ZA8pW6V
— Akiva Cohen (@AkivaMCohen) October 5, 2020
While this Twitter user who goes by the name Clouds, said what every rational person is thinking:
My beliefs are that you shouldn't impose your beliefs on anyone else. Overturning Obergefell based on religious liberty infringes on my religious liberty.
— Clouds 🏳️🌈🎮 (@cloudspretty) October 5, 2020