Thursday, April 16, 2015

The upcoming SCOTUS decision

Three lessons emerge from this brief history of same-sex marriage litigation in the United States. First, the evolution of constitutional law has more to do with changing social and political mores than with traditional sources of constitutional law such as text, original understanding, and precedent. Same-sex marriage has advanced from an absurd constitutional argument to a compelling one – at least in the mind of five Justices – because public attitudes regarding sexual orientation have been transformed over the last half-century.

To a greater extent than most people probably are aware, other landmark Court rulings on issues of social reform were similarly inconceivable only a decade or two before they happened. ... 
Second, Court decisions on issues of social reform that advance far beyond public opinion often generate potent political backlashes. Brown, Roe v. Wade, and Furman v. Georgia all had such an effect. ... 
Third, the factors that predict political backlash – which include public opinion on the underlying issue, the relative intensity of preference on the two sides of the issue, and the ease with which a particular Court ruling can be circumvented or defied – suggest that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in 2015 will produce only minimal political backlash.

Polls show that fifty-five to sixty percent of Americans support same-sex marriage today—perhaps triple the percentage of twenty-five years ago. Moreover, as recently as ten years ago, opponents of same-sex marriage had much more intense feelings on the issue than did supporters. According to polls taken then, only six percent of same-sex-marriage supporters said they would be unwilling to support a political candidate with whom they disagreed on the issue, while thirty-four percent of opponents said they were willing to make same-sex marriage a voting issue. Among evangelical Christians, that number rose to fifty-five percent. That large disparity in intensity of preference between the two sides of the same-sex marriage issue no longer exists today.

1 comment:

PseudoPiskie said...

Hatred/fear is a mighty motivator.