Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is really pissed.
Scalia is known for his rhetorical flights of fancy–he compared the last marriage decision to a meatloaf–but he outdid himself in his dissent today. In language that does nothing to mask his furor, Scalia belittles the ruling itself and his colleagues who disagree with him, essentially arguing that ballot box homophobia trumps constitutional rights.
“This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves,” Scalia wrote.
He makes a thinly veiled comparison between the majority and Nazis by complaining about “a judicial Putsch,” a word best known in conjunction with Hitler.
Scalia also takes some pointed and very personal swipes at Kennedy’s writing, complaining about”the mummeries and straining-to-be memorable passages,” done in “a style that is as pretentious as its content is egoistic.”
But it’s the ruling itself that gets the worst treatment. “If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag,” Scalia fumes. “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”
No wonder that each of the other dissenters wrote their own opinions, a very rare occurrence. No one else wanted to join Scalia’s scorched-earth dissent.
Don’t expect Antonin and Anthony to be hanging out at the backyard barbecue this fourth of July.