The Supreme Court is inappropriately signaling it intends to clear the way for gay marriage across the nation, Justice Clarence Thomas complained Monday in a stinging dissent to the court's refusal to block the start of same-sex marriages in Alabama.
Thomas filed a dissenting opinion after his colleagues rejected Alabama's plea to put a hold on same-sex marriages in the state until the Supreme Court resolves the issue nationwide in a few months.
He criticized his fellow justices for looking "the other way as yet another federal district judge casts aside state laws," rather than following the customary course of leaving those laws in place until the court answers an important constitutional question.
"This acquiescence may well be seen as a signal of the court's intended resolution of that question," Thomas wrote in an opinion that was joined by Justice Antonin Scalia. "This is not the proper way" for the court to carry out its role under the Constitution, he wrote, "and, it is indecorous for this court to pretend that it is."
The opinion was remarkable less for the legal result it suggested than for its open criticism of fellow justices.
Michael Dorf, a former Kennedy law clerk who teaches at Cornell University, said the absence of Roberts and Alito from Thomas' dissent Monday suggests those justices could be part of a broader majority in favor of same-sex marriage this year, with Roberts the more likely candidate.
Other than that, Dorf said, the justices' order allowing same-sex marriage to begin in Alabama, "is further evidence that the court intends to reverse the 6th circuit and find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage."
Read the rest.
The slope be gettin' slippery-er.