Five Years in Omaha
Vivid images

Roberts is ignorant to a vicious degree

His entire dissent revolts as it, like the district court ruling it upholds, ignores the actual questions in the case.  I had hoped he would be persuaded by Judge Posner's brilliant opinion; alas, he was not.

Throughout he commits errors.  He has a woefully ignorant understanding of the history of marriage and human sexuality.  In preparation for this case did he read no scholarly works on that topic?  Nor the actual case law, such as that in the Prop 8 case, which explored the question?

It simply is not true that human society has always defined marriage the same way.  Marriage, as a either a religious or a civil institution, doesn't/didn't exist in every society.  Humans have attached with one another throughout history, receiving various forms of recognition by their societies.  Same-sex couples have always been a part of this human history, and at times did enjoy various levels of social acceptance and support.  What is being sought in this case is not overturning or radically altering some ancient, sacred tradition of marriage, but the receipt of very concrete rights, privileges, and responsibilities by a segment of humanity that has always existed but has been denied those rights by US law due to animus.

Which brings me to the point that really set me off.  He is upset that the majority believes the laws banning same-sex marriage were enacted through bias.  Was he in a coma in 2004?  Roberts is ignorant to a vicious degree if he actually believes those laws weren't enacted via bias.  He writes: 

By the majority’s account, Americans who did nothing more than follow the understanding of marriage that has existed for our entire history—in particular, the tens of millions of people who voted to reaffirm their States’ enduring definition of marriage—have acted to “lock . . . out,” “disparage,” “disrespect and subordinate,” and inflict “[d]ignitary wounds” upon their gay and lesbian neighbors. 
Even if he was in a coma in 2004 (and after) and not paying attention to the political rhetoric, didn't he read the evidence presented in the Prop 8 trial?  Or the ruling in Oklahoma?  Or Judge Posner's ruling?  All of those focused on the discriminatory bias and animus of the campaigns for constitutional amendments defining marriage.
 
Again, if he is this ignorant of history and the facts of the cases before him, then it is a vicious form of ignorance.
 
Furthermore, one cannot believe Justice Roberts or trust his moral and legal reasoning when he denounces what he thinks is a formation of a right that didn't exist before as he has voted for an individual right to bear arms that didn't exist before, a right to corporate personhood that didn't exist before, and a right to religious expression of corporations that didn't exist before.  In the common language that sort of speaking out of both sides of ones mouth is called "hypocrisy."

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Scott Jones

Here is a good analysis of why Roberts was wrong: http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/symposium-the-constitution-has-everything-to-do-with-it/

Robert Asbell

I was never Impressed with the argument "marriage has existed in all societies as a man and a woman, etc." ...
So what if it has? Are we the one to get it right? Arguing along these lines sound like 'reaching' for something ... that will not get you where you want to go. (And why do you want to go 'there'?) Is this (at least in part) why many perceive opponents of same sex marriage as having animus? Something along the lines of ... 'there is no reason .... therefore the only thing left is hate"?
I truly want to understand you... I'm listening

Scott

No, that's not it. Not every opponent has animus. But the campaigns that ran these constitutional amendments were full of animus. Or the on-going animus of folks like Rep. Sally Kern in Oklahoma who said that gay people are a bigger threat to America than Islamic terrorism. The opinions I cited did thorough research, particularly the district court ruling in the Oklahoma case and the Prop 8 trial, into the way the campaigns used tactics of fear and hate instead of reasoned arguments.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)