Professor Singer, you seem to be following the Supreme Court and their analysis of same sex marriage. What can you tell us briefly about what seems to be going on?
I want to start with an admission. Although Article 3 Section 1 of the United States Constitution lists no qualifications for judges other than “good behavior” while in office, I do not believe I am qualified to be a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. It is not because I am trained as a teacher and an historian and instead of as a lawyer. It is primarily because I am an activist with a political commitment to my fundamental beliefs and not to the basic integrity of the legal system. Supreme Court Justices must defend the principles of the Constitution even when they run counter to their own views.
It is because Justices swear an oath to defend the United States Constitution as the first law of the land, and for the other reasons that I disqualify myself, that I believe Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas should never have been appointed to the Supreme Court. In decision after decision they placed ideology and personal values above the Constitution and the law. They decided corporations have the same rights as people and then defended the rights of the world’s wealthiest companies over the rights of ordinary people, are still considering undermining a national health insurance plan, and denounce crime and violence while ensuring the maximum distribution of deadly weapons. However they eventually decide on the same-sex marriage issue, I do not trust them.
The current case, Obergefell v. Hodges, originated in Ohio but also involves attempts by the states of Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee to bar same-sex marriages in their states and to refuse to accept the legal validity of same-sex marriages recognized in other states. It started when a Cincinnati, Ohio couple sued charging that alleging that Ohio discriminated against same-sex couples who lawfully married in another state. It came to the Supreme Court after the Ohio ban on same-sex marriages was upheld in a divided opinion by a Court of Appeals.
My Huffington Post article, “On Same-Sex marriage, Supreme Court Needs to Go Back to High School,” focused on comments and questions Supreme Court Justices asked attorneys for the plaintiffs. Reading them, it seems clear to me that the so-called “Conservative wing” of the court, the Roberts-Scalia-Alito-Thomas gang of four was operating more on anti-gay bias than on constitutional principles. ...