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The US Constitution and Fundamental Rights

On 26 June 2015 the US Supreme Court declared marriage a nation-wide right for same-sex couples. Justice Scalia was on the dissenting side of the 5-4 decision and spoke of "the court's threat to American democracy."

The 5-4 decision was made on 26 June 2015. Historically, conservatives have been critical of democracy and what they have called "mob rule." In this case they have picked up on "democracy" as an argument against the ruling.

David Boies, a superstar attorney doesn't agree with Scalia. He describes the Founding Fathers as having created a constitution that guarded principles above and beyond democracy – as a part of our democracy.

The Court is one of three branches of government protecting fundamental rights. It can and does overrule laws created by Congress. Boies holds that marriage is a "fundamental right" that cannot be infringed upon for any citizens. This now means the right to marry someone of the same sex. It means homosexual couples have the same rights to the civil benefits accorded heterosexual couples. It is about homosexuals having the right to be treated equally.

Did Scalia let his disgust concerning homosexuality influence his understanding of our system of governance and his interpretation of the law?

Judges deciding cases are always aiming for balance. A woman in Indiana ignoring this expressed her disapproval of the decision by asking her local government to allow her to marry her dog, Brutus.

A more challenging issue regarding balance is polygamy. Arguments regarding this are available online.


Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.