Yesterday, United States District Judge Robert Shelby not only ruled that a Utah law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, he used his ruling to troll Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
When the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the anti-LGBT Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a scathing dissent in which he defended the idea of traditional marriage.
Scalia, who “very much suspects” some of his friends are homosexuals, wrote that the majority’s opinion in that case was a “disappearing trail of legalistic argle-bargle” designed to disparage those who support traditional marriage.
He claimed his fellow justices characterized DOMA’s supporters “an unhinged members of a wild-eyed lynch mob” and “enemies of the human race” whose actions are “motivated by ‘bare…desire to harm’ couples in same-sex marriages. How easy it is, indeed how inevitable, to reach the same conclusion with regard to state laws denying same-sex couples marital status.”
Judge Shelby, in his ruling, agreed with Justice Scalia that the Supreme Court’s federal ruling on DOMA would “inevitabl[y]” be applied to state laws banning same-sex marriage, and declared that he had no choice but to strike down Utah’s law.
“Justice Scalia,” Shelby wrote, “recommended how this court should interpret the [DOMA] decision when presented with the question that is now before it.”
Throughout his ruling, he used Scalia’s dissenting words to make his case. “As Justice Scalia has noted,” he wrote, “‘preserving the institution of marriage’ is just a kinder way of describing the State’s moral disapproval of same-sex couples.” Shelby then argued that while “‘[p]rivate biases may be outside the reach of the law…the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect’ at the expense of a disfavored group’s constitutional rights.”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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