You are here

Supreme Court Cautious About Making Sweeping Change to Marriage

The National Law Journal's Tony Mauro reports that the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments this morning about the constitutionality of several states' bans on same-sex marriage, appeared to be cautious about making sweeping change to the definition of matrimony in the United States.

According to Mauro, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has authored several of the court's landmark decisions on LGBT rights and is considered a swing vote on the issue, said, '"The word that keeps coming to me is 'millennia.'" Kennedy, however, also said that there is nobility in marriage that same-sex couples should enjoy. I think that sentiment from Kennedy seems to reflect the kind of rhetoric he deployed in decisions that struck down criminal bans on consensual sodomy and a Colorado state constitutional amendment that barred any extra legal protections for LGBT Coloradans.

According to Mauro, Michigan special attorney general John Bursch asserted that states have a rational basis for keeping marriage to opposite-sex couples in order to encourage children being raised in stable families. But the liberal justices sharply challenged that argument.