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Justices Thomas and Alito Question Same-Sex Marriage Precedent

  • Published: October 16, 2020

WASHINGTON — Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., who dissented from the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, appeared to urge the court on Monday to reconsider the ruling, which they said had invented a right with no basis in the text of the Constitution.

“By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the court has created a problem that only it can fix,” Justice Thomas wrote, in an opinion joined by Justice Alito.

The justices issued their opinion in a case concerning Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who had been sued for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Supreme Court turned down her appeal, and the two justices concurred in that decision, saying the case did not cleanly present questions warranting the court’s review.

But they used the occasion to issue a four-page statement denouncing the harm they said the 2015 decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, had done to religious freedom…Read More

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