Tag Archives: US Constitution

Obergefell et. al. v. Hodges, Ohio Dep’t Health, 135 S.Ct. 1039 (June 26, 2015) Part II: Dissents

The CLR does not normally post summaries of US Supreme Court decisions. In this case, there are immediate implications for Family Law practitioners in Colorado, as well as other civil litigators pursuing or defending claims under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, the CLR will issue 2 posts related to this decision. Part I is a summary of the majority opinion and Part II is a summary of the dissenting opinions.

“The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage.” Roberts, C.J. The 4 dissenting justices raised various arguments against extending marriage to same-sex couples by Court decree including (in no particular order): 1) the decision should rest with the people, resolved through elected representatives, not 5 lawyers; 2) courts do not substitute their judgment for that of the people; 3) limiting marriage is not an unconstitutional act by a State; 4) liberty is freedom from government action not a claim to government benefits; 5) dignity is neither granted nor taken away by government; and 6) children are best served by a marriage between a man and woman. A shared theme is that by deciding the scope of a Constitutional right, the Court has taken a power it should not claim, has created more division, and ended democratic debate.

The following are all the cases on Writs of Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Sixth Circuit decided in this decision:

14–556, James Obergefell, et. al., Petitioners v. Richard Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et. al.;

14–562, Valeria Tanco, et. al., Petitioners v. Bill Haslam, Governor of Tennessee, et. al.;

14–571, April DeBoer, et. al., Petitioners v. Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, et. al.;

14–574, Gregory Bourke, et. al., Petitioners v. Steve Beshear, Governor of Kentucky.

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