How Supreme Court’s Language In Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Could Be Problematic

Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Experts believe that the language used in Kennedy’s opinion is too specific.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage last week.

Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the 5-4 ruling saying that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry. Experts were surprised that Justice Kennedy chose to focus his opinion more on the right to marry than equal protection.

South Texas College law professor Charles Rhodes says the ruling “gave the dissenters more room to attack him” and that focusing his opinion on the issue of equality instead of the right to marriage would “make a more sound legal argument.”

Another professor of law at South Texas College, John Blackman, says this language could be an issue moving forward.

“There’s not much of a pretense to ground this decision in a way that lower courts can apply, short of saying that people who marry love each other. Well, if it’s not about them being in love — does it count? He has this at one time broad and at one time narrow opinion.” said Blackman. “This will be very difficult to extend to other contexts about discrimination against gays and lesbians.”

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion is 28 pages long. You can read the entire document below.


Blackman was a guest on Houston Matters where he discussed how the Supreme Court ruling might be difficult to apply to other LGBT cases. Click here to read the entire conversation.  

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