In 2015, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment establishes a constitutional right to marriage for gay Americans. The ruling reflected a remarkably rapid shift in public opinion regarding gay marriage in the previous few years. Writing by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the majority opinion included a powerful exposition on the meaning of freedom in the early twenty-first century
Text of the Fourteenth Amendment excerpt Section 1,
1789, rev. 1992
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Watch this video to do it:
Questions: 1. Given your understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment from the beginning
of our class (equal protection under the law), Justice Kennedy argued that this was in fact covered after years of conflict over this issue. Given what has happened with Roe in June of 2022, can you see Constitutional protection of same-sex marriage being removed by the Supreme Court? Why or why not?
2. What do you think are some of the essential rights that same-sex couples did not have access to prior to this Supreme Court decision? What are some that you have seen in the original conflict with Obergefell in the video?
3. Given the text of the due process clause in Section 1, is there a way this could be interpreted to be a state by state case (meaning up to the states to individually decide)? How did they argue this was a nation wide interpretation of this ruling?
Guidelines for submissions:
Sufficient =300 words, substantive and addresses the prompt