Thursday, June 27, 2013

Crazy uncles

Andrew Koppelman

Reading the Supreme Court’s opinions in the same-sex marriage cases felt like watching a couple of crazy old uncles bicker. I’m a law professor, and I’ve been reading Supreme Court opinions for years. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, was his typical self: bloviating, self-important, irritating even when he’s right about everything just because he’s so damn pleased with himself. Antonin Scalia, who dissented, also did not disappoint: a snarling, grumpy old man, full of viciously funny one-liners.

Don’t misunderstand me: This was a great day. Same-sex marriage came to California, and DOMA, a stupid, nasty law, is history. The Court acted well. But the judges’ opinions leaven the heroic tale with some comic relief.

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