The Court has begun the festivities by holding that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The decision was 5-4, with Justice Kennedy writing the opinion. Chief Justice Roberts wrote a dissent, as did Justice Scalia.
Scalia says the ruling springs from a “diseased root: an exalted notion of the role of this court in American democratic society.” That’s it exactly. I made this point here, among other places.
I’m following this at SCOTUSblog. It reports that Justice Alito has also written a dissent and that the language of his dissent “suggest[s] that the Court will dismiss Prop 8 on standing.”
My other go-to blog today will be Bench Memos, where Ed Whelan will be all over the marriage cases.
Now the ruling in Perry, the Prop 8 case, is in. The Court has, indeed, dismissed the case for lack of standing on the part of those who defended the proposition passed by the voters of California, which banned gay marriage. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion. The vote was 5-4. The dissenters were Kennedy (writing), Alito, Thomas, and Sotomayor.
Here is the opinion in the DOMA case.
Here is the opinion in the Prop 8 case.
The upshot of the Prop 8 case, as I understand it, is that Prop 8 cannot be enforced — at least not now.
Question: What’s worse than our robed masters striking down an affirmation by the citizenry of the traditional, virtually universal definition of marriage?
Answer: One robed master doing this in a case where those trying to uphold the will of the citizenry are denied their day in court.
To be fair, though, the Prop 8 decision, by relying on the alleged lack of standing, limits the applicability of the striking down of the ban on marriage to one state.