WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The Supreme Court's conservative justices lambasted today's majority opinion that the U.S. Constitution grants an inalienable right to same-sex “marriage,” emphasizing the threat the opinion poses to religious liberty, the democratic process, and the institution of marriage even as it is redefined.
In a series of scathing dissents, each of the High Court's four conservative justices took apart Justice Anthony Kennedy's Obergefell v. Hodges decision piece-by-piece.
Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, wrote that “the majority fails to provide even a single sentence explaining” how the 14th Amendment applies to redefining marriage.
“The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent,” he wrote. “There is, after all, no 'Companionship and Understanding' or 'Nobility and Dignity' Clause in the Constitution.”
Instead, the court ignored its own precedent in the 1972 Baker v. Nelson case, which ruled there is no constitutional right to homosexual “marriage.”
In a separate dissent, Justice Scalia called the decision a “judicial Putsch” that is “lacking even a thin veneer of law.” He described the majority's often flowery language as “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”
Roberts said the opinion took an “unprincipled approach” that he likened to the Dred Scott decision, which ratified slavery on the eve of the Civil War.
While all of the dissenting justices warned that the decision usurped the role of the people in a democratic government, each made his own distinctive critiques, as well.
Justice Roberts warned that today's ruling was not comparable to striking down laws against interracial marriage, because at no time was the ethnicity of the spouses considered a defining factor of marriage itself.
He also warned that by changing the fundamental definition of marriage, the justices had opened the door to redefining other vital components of matrimony. “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” he wrote.
Justice Thomas wrote that the opinion holds “potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.” Recognizing the threat that the government may revoke the tax-exempt status of religious institutions, Thomas added that “the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious property.”
The traditional American view of limited government was another casualty, he wrote. “Our Constitution — like the Declaration of Independence before it — was predicated on a simple truth: One’s liberty, not to mention one’s dignity, was something to be shielded from — not provided by — the state.”
Justice Samuel Alito alone said that marriage existed for the sake of procreation and child-rearing. The majority opinion is based on ideas of romantic love, he wrote. “This understanding of marriage, which focuses almost entirely on the happiness of persons who choose to marry, is shared by many people today, but it is not the traditional one. For millennia, marriage was inextricably linked to the one thing that only an opposite-sex couple can do: procreate.”
All of the justices had a similar concern, though: The decision substitutes the views of five unelected justices for the democratic process, much as Roe v. Wade did for abortion in 1973.
“If a bare majority of justices can invent a new right and impose that right on the rest of the country, the only real limit on what future majorities will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate,” Justice Alito wrote in his dissent.
He concluded, “All Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.”