Today SCOTUS heard a pivotal case on marriage. In the other blog in my series, I addressed the case and lawyers representing in the two and a half hours of oral arguments. I followed the live blog where the SCOTUS press summarized questions and arguments.
In the end, we will have to wait until June as there was no clear answer on same sex marriage.
The swing vote would go to Justice Kennedy, who would have to be persuaded one way or another. The contemplative judge asked a few pivotal questions. The most important was wondering whether to cast aside a millennium of cultural norm and habit about who can marry. He also asked if Americans wanted to spend their time debating the issue. He also defended gays and lesbians’ dignity if they did get married.
“I don’t understand this ‘not dignity bestowing.’ I thought that was the whole purpose of marriage. It bestows dignity on both man and woman in a traditional marriage. It’s dignity-bestowing, and these parties say they want to have that, that same ennoblement.”
By the end, it appeared that maybe he was no longer hesitant but more decided on the issues. We’ll have to wait a few months to know. The only judge who did not speak was Clarence Thomas, known for sitting quietly and taking in information.
Kennedy was uncomfortable about the narrow definition that Bursch was insisting on giving to marriage. And that emphasis in Bursch’s argument also provided a very clear opening for a strong closing argument by the couples’ lawyer, Mary L. Bonauto of Boston.
The Court had set aside a separate full hour for discussion of a second constitutional issue: whether states were required, by the Fourteenth Amendment to officially give recognition to same-sex couples that were married in other states, then came home to a state that was opposed to their marriage.
Information for this article was inspired from Amy Howe’s article on http://www.scotusblog.com