Supremes Tell Alabama to Keep On Marrying
Late last month, U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled that Alabama’s ban on marriage equality (aka mini-Defense of Marriage act or mini-DOMA) was unconstitutional and that Alabama’s probate judges (they issue marriage licenses in Alabama) have a legal duty under the U.S. Constitution to issue those licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Of course Alabama appealed, asking the Supreme Court to overturn Judge Granade’s ruling.
This morning morning, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the start of gay marriages in Alabama and today, that state became the 37th to allow same-sex marriage.
Seven justices declined to stay the ruling and two – Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia – dissented from the order.Thomas and Scalia said they would have halted the marriages until the Supreme Court issues its decision in four consolidated same-sex marriage cases, which are expected to be argued in April and decided by late June.
Writing in his dissent, Justice Thomas suggested the majority was signaling it had already made up its collective mind to regarding the issue of marriage equality.
If you think about it, he’s probably right. Why would the justices allow same-sex marriages to begin in Alabama if they were inclined to later uphold a right of states to ban such marriages? It seems they are inclined to rule in favor of marriage rights for the entire country.
Not if Scalia and Thomas have anything to say about it. We shall see.