Macalia Dissent Case Summary

1849 Words8 Pages

Justice Scalia of the United States Supreme Court produced a dissent after the decision made in Obergefell v. Hodges and expressed his reasons behind what he believed to be an incredibly poor decision made by the Court. In the dissent Scalia explains how the decision could be a threat to the way the American Government works and could have a serious effect on our future. Past decisions made by the Court as well as past interpretations of the Constitution are both a part of Scalia’s argument. These components of his argument all contribute to his overall strategy to in the dissent. To explain his vote against gay marriage, Scalia uses his knowledge of the US system of government and plays on the emotions of the US citizens who have a strong …show more content…

For example, a person reading the dissent and noting that Scalia is saying that the Court should not be used to determine if gay marriage is legal or not may suggest that it would not be the first time it had been done. What about cases like Brown v. Board of Education which stated that segregation in schools was not equal and led to the end of Jim Crow laws in the South? Or Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion and decided that women had a “right to privacy” that could not be interfered with by the government? To this Scalia would state that these cases and others like them that seemed to make something legal or illegal were done so because they were not matters of the states. In the case of Obergefell v. Hodges it was a matter of domestic issues which are dealt with by the states: “The Federal Government, through our history, has deferred to state-law policy decisions with respect to domestic relations” (4). A second argument that could be presented to Scalia would be one that questioned how precise the law really is. In many Supreme Court cases throughout US history people have decided based on their interpretations of the Constitution and the nation’s laws. Some have made their decision based loosely on the Constitution and others, like Scalia, have made their decision based very strictly on what was originally written. Because of this these people …show more content…

Americans are proud of their history and traditions so things like, “debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best” and in reference to the 14th Amendment “bears the endorsement of a long tradition of open, widespread, and unchallenged use dating back to the Amendment’s ratification” would strike pride in their hearts. People love to do things the “good ol’ American way” and when that is threatened they become defensive. Scalia argues that with their decision the Court is changing the way our system of government works and with this he could expect the people to become defensive and want to be aware of future decisions that could do the same. Scalia wrote about the judicial claim to legislative power, “a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government” and “government that makes the People subordinate to. . . nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy” (5). One of the most important traditions to the People of our nation is the idea that we are built on equality and diversity and that these are even built into our bodies of government, specifically those that make our laws. However, Scalia makes it clear that the Supreme Court is not diverse and is hardly an equal representation of the nation. He said that, “The strikingly unrepresentative character

Open Document