Scalia Says He’s Never Expressed An Opinion On Marriage Equality


Despite all evidence to the contrary, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wants you to know that he’s never expressed his opinion on the constitutionality of marriage equality.  Speaking at Tufts University, Scalia said with a straight (in every sense) face, “I haven’t expressed my view about gay marriage.”

Just in case you thought that his voting to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act might have tipped his hand on where he stood, Scalia kindly clarified. “The issue in the DOMA case was not whether the Constitution requires states to allow gay marriage. The question is whether Congress can define marriage in all of the statues that Congress enacted to mean only marriage between a man and a woman.”

As a reminder to Tony, we would like to point out that his dissent in the DOMA case, which he took pains to read from the bench, complained that  anyone who opposed  marriage equality was being portrayed as “enemy of human decency” and compared the majority opinion to an overcooked meatloaf. We think we know where he stands, even if he doesn’t.

One interesting side note: Scalia also commented that he’s “waiting for the second shoe to drop,” meaning another case before the Court to settle the right to marry as a national one and not one dependent on state laws. Since Scalia was prescient in predicting marriage equality was the inevitable outcome of the SCOTUS ruling striking down sodomy laws,  we fully expect that he’s right this time as well. After all, even Scalia can be right occasionally.


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  • hyhybt

    I like overcooked meatloaf.

  • jwrappaport

    Another reminder that life tenure for federal judges was a huge, huge mistake.

  • bystander

    Scalia Voted (albeit indirectly) to strike down Prop 8. He was part of the 5-4 majority in that case which decided the petitioners didn’t have standing to appeal the district court’s original decision. So its not like he’s total blind to that law. He simply has a different interpretation of it.

  • Cam


    He voted that the Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case because he knew if it went to the court there was a good chance it could end up striking down every single marriage law in the nation.

  • Cam

    Scalia claiming he has never expressed an opinion on Marriage is like saying that a member of the KKK has never directly stated their opinion on Affirmative Action. Sure that specific discussion may not have happened, but we know what they think of it.

    Considering Scalia has refereed has stated that “The homosexual agenda being the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”

    Pretty much shows what he thinks about gays. He took a beating in the media for being so biased in the lead up to the last cases, he is trying to grasp on to any last gasp at being seen as an actual professional rather than a raging partisan. A bit late frankly.

  • Ottoman

    Scalia wrote in the Lawrence decision that Lawrence made gay marriage constitutional. So he’s lying.

  • Spike

    Scary when a Supreme Court judge knows nothing about the internets.

  • AlanReeser

    What a lyin’ sack of shit….

  • Caleb in SC

    @jwrappaport: JW, as much as I agree with the vast majority of your comments, and like you personally, I have to disagree with this particular comment. Judges need to be removed from the political process as much as possible to insulate them from outside pressures. Justice O’Connor is a prime example. She was appointed by Reagan and was way more moderate to left than anyone would have guessed. Scalia is just an old fashioned douche, who hates everyone not white, Catholic and Republican.

    The problem is not with life tenure. The problem is that “advice and consent” of Congress has become too politicized.

  • andy_d

    @jwrappaport: It would require an amendment to the constitution to change that. Federal Judges, however, CAN be impeached . . .

  • andy_d

    @Caleb in SC: Definitely agree with your second paragraph.

    Oh, and please don’t insult douches by calling Nino one. Douches are good things. They cleanse and refresh. :)

  • jwrappaport

    @andy_d: Darn tootin. Amendments are practically impossible (the last substantive one was in 1971), and impeachment isn’t a desirable solution for the life tenure problem.

    @Caleb in SC: You are a gentleman and a scholar, but I’m not sure I buy the argument. Life tenure is precisely what politicizes the process: every side knows just how high the stakes are, which is exactly why the process is so hotly contested and volatile. People are living longer than they ever have in history. Thomas will plausibly be on the Court for at least another decade, and Roberts, Alito, and Sotomayor will plausibly remain for two more decades. (These are conservative estimates.) Kagan will plausibly be there until 2040. As people live longer, there become vastly fewer chances to nominate justices, which raises the stakes of nomination even higher. As a policy matter, do we really want people deciding cutting-edge social issues in 2030 who came of age in the Nixon administration?

    I can think of no reason why say a 16-year, non-renewable term wouldn’t insulate Article III judges sufficiently. Also, I reject the premise that Article III judges can ever be truly insulated. Consider Roberts and the Obamacare decision: he voted to uphold it on flimsy, specious reasoning (that’s being generous) purely because he did not want to face the political upshot against the Court. Consider Ginsburg’s statement on Roe that the Court moved too fast and provoked backlash against the judiciary.

    The Court is already a political institution, and I’m okay with that. I’m just not okay with their increasing power by virtue of the fact that its members are often there for more than two decades each.

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