Landmark Ruling From SCOTUS

Today marked a landmark ruling from SCOTUS.  However, while the most impactful today’s ruling regarding same-sex marriages was not the only significant ruling this week.

Today’s ruling will end same-sex marriage bans.  The 5-4 split turned on  Justice Kennedy‘s majority OBERGEFELL Opinion.  Kennedy’s twenty-eight page opinion begins with a vast historical background of marriage and the law’s development regarding same-sex marriage.  Kennedy’s first sets forth that same-sex couples right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of each person; as such,  14th amendment‘s due process clause and equal protection clause prohibit the government from depriving same-sex couples of that right.  Kennedy also sets forth why the 14th amendment requires States to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other States.

The dissenting opinions argument was that the decision was not based in the law but rather the result of the majority’s personal opinions and an attempt to craft social change.  The harshest coming from Justice Scalia who wrote”….The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie…”

The other significant opinion of the week, was King v Burwell, in which the Court upheld the Affordable Care Act’s provision which requires insurance subsidies in every state.  The issue arose from the provision of the act allowing interlocking forms equally in each State, regardless who established each State’s exchange.  Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion focused centrally on statutory interpretation, upholding the statute.  Justice Scalia dissented, and criticized the majority opinion, saying that the law should be called SCOTUScare.

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