Two US Supreme Court Justices, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, sent a resounding message Monday in the rift between religious liberty and same-sex marriage as the Justices criticized the Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling which opened the door to such unions.
Thomas wrote that the decision “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots, making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss.”
CNN reports Thomas went on to say that the court chose to “privilege” a “novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the Court has created a problem only it can fix.”
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, lashed out at the religious liberty implications of the Supreme Court's 2015 decision that cleared the way for same-sex marriage nationwide. https://t.co/hlWlhxP5Oy
— CNN (@CNN) October 5, 2020
He issued his opinion as SCOTUS begins a new term. The Court declined to hear the case of Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, who refused to issued same-sex marriage licenses in 2015. Though he agreed with the decision to decline her case because he says it wasn’t properly presented, Thomas says she’s “one of the first victims” of the decision, but won’t be last.
Did the court simply usurp one constitutional right for another? Was the 2015 ruling simply lazy? Is there a way to protect everyone’s liberty? What do you think the Court’s new composition would do?