Justice Scalia delivers scathing dissent of gay marriage decision

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, shown in this 2011 file photo, delivered a scathing dissent of Friday’s 5-4 decision that legalizes gay marriage nationwide, referring to it as a “threat to American democracy.” (AP file)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Not everyone was happy with the Supreme Court’s decision Friday, June 26, 2015 that overturned the sixth circuit’s decision and put an end to bans on same-sex marriage.

In fact, one of the ruling’s most ardent critics sits on the bench: Justice Antonin Scalia.

Known as an ardent conservative, Scalia issued a scathing dissent of the court’s ruling, calling it a “threat to American democracy.”

Scalia alleges the court has far overstepped its legal bounds.

“The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me,” Scalia said. “It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my ruler, and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. But the courts ended this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law.”

Scalia also appears to claim the Supreme Court’s role in lawmaking takes away from the voice of American citizens.

“To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principal even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation,” he said in his dissent.

Despite Scalia’s concerns, same-sex marriage now is legal in all 50 states.

President Barack Obama made a statement shortly after Friday’s ruling, calling the decision a “victory for America.”

“No matter who you are or what you look like or who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny,” Obama said. “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”

Click here to read the opinion of the court in the case Obergefell v. Hodges.

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