Some justices' decisions are often easy to predict. Roberts used to be one of those, but that’s becoming less so. In many important cases, progressives shouldn’t count him out.
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CAC's Elizabeth Wydra appeared on the Bill Press Show to discuss the marriage equality arguments held at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 14th Amendment "was designed to, really, perfect the promise of the Declaration of Independence," Judith Schaeffer, vice president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, said. "The purpose and the meaning of the 14th Amendment is to make clear that no state can take no group of citizens and make them second-class."
Or as Judith E. Schaeffer of the Constitutional Accountability Center warned on CNN this weekend: “If the Windsor majority votes in favor of marriage equality, the ruling will be one of the most momentous decisions of the Roberts court. … Will John Roberts want to be remembered as having dissented from such a historic decision?”
I don't believe that a majority of the justices were convinced today that there's any legitimate reason to deny gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. And I think they understand how much gay and lesbian couples and our families are harmed by the denial of that right. Our nation is certainly ready for marriage equality, and the Constitution demands no less. I hope and trust that the court agrees.
Other legal experts go further, suggesting it's possible that not just Kennedy but Chief Justice John Roberts could join the final decision in favor of marriage equality. "I would not rule him out in terms of a decision in favor of marriage equality," Judith Schaeffer, vice president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, said. "I'm going to be very interested to listen to his questions [to litigators]."
I checked in with the fine folks at the Constitutional Accountability Center the other day, who referred me to this new piece from David Gans, an accomplished constitutional scholar. Gans was clearly unimpressed with Steve King’s idea, which was also pushed last week by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
With Roberts uncommitted, some advocates are hoping that the nation’s highest judicial officer will place his imprimatur on a pro-marriage ruling. Should the court back same-sex marriage it would cap a transformation in the rights of gays over the past dozen years, bringing weddings to the last 14 states where they are banned. "His vote is in play,” said Judith Schaeffer, vice president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which backs marriage rights. “I don’t think people should write him off.”
CAC's Elizabeth Wydra appeared on FOX News Channelto discuss the Supreme Court's upcoming marriage equality arguments.
The 14th Amendment does not permit the voters of a state to impose a badge of inferiority on committed same-sex couples and their families and deny them the right to marry. When the justices hear oral arguments this week, they should remember that the will of the people can't trump the basic guarantees of personal, individual rights set out in the text of the Constitution. It is the Supreme Court's job to enforce the Constitution's guarantee of equality for all.
"If the Windsor majority votes in favor of marriage equality, the ruling will be one of the most momentous decisions of the Roberts court," said Judith E. Schaeffer of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which is advocating for same-sex marriage. "Will John Roberts want to be remembered as having dissented from such a historic decision?"
As America's second founding turns 150, and as the Supreme Court continues to hear cases that draw on its constitutional legacy, it’s important for all of us—including the justices—to remember these forgotten founders and to reflect on their constitutional handiwork. This is nowhere truer than in Obergefell, where the Constitution’s text requires marriage equality.