“In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a law defining marriage for the purposes of federal programs as the union of a man and a woman.” National Review
National Review, March 9, 2015, p. 6
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a law defining marriage for the purposes of federal programs as the union of a man and a woman. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, did not bother to specify what part of the Constitution the law violated. Lower federal courts took the decision as their cue to start invalidating state marriage laws as well. A federal judge in Alabama has just done so. The chief justice of the state supreme court, Roy Moore, said that the ruling did not bind state officials handing out marriage licenses. The judge has been widely condemned for disobeying the supremacy clause of the Constitution, which puts federal law above state law; his defenders note that the Supreme Court has never said this clause makes the decisions of lower federal courts binding on state officials. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is preparing to rule on a case about the constitutionality of traditional marriage laws. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took it upon herself to pronounce that the country is ready for same-sex marriage to become the constitutional rule. Almost nobody raised an eyebrow. We already knew which way she leans on the question. We already knew that the process by .which same-sex marriage is triumphing in the courts has nothing to do with the impartial application of law. Apparently it is no longer necessary even to go through the motions of pretending that it does. Spare Judge Moore, and the rest of us, any lectures about the majesty of the law.