On the 26th, the nine highest court judges in the United States made the verdict on May 4, ordering all states to grant same-sex marriage registrations while acknowledging same-sex marriages registered in other states. Judge Kennedy’s submissions were endorsed by the other four judges and became the judgments of the court, while the other four judges gave different opinions.
The case was led by Jim Obergefell of Ohio v. Hodges, director of the Department of Health and concurrently discussed three cases in Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The four cases involved 14 same-sex couples and two homosexuals who lost their same-sex partners. The laws of the four states stipulate that the marriage is a union of one man and one woman, so the state government will not register the marriage application of the plaintiff in this case. The plaintiff then went to the federal district court for t denying the state’s marriage law as unconstitutional. Federal District Court approved their application. However, the state government appealed to the U.S. Federal Circuit Sixth Circuit. The court denied the district court’s verdict. The 14 same-sex couples and two widows ultimately only asked the Supreme Court to review the case. The federal court agreed to reconcile the review. As a result of the Supreme Court’s review, it denied the judgment of the Sixth Circuit and legalized same-sex marriage.
Justice Kennedy tells the three story of the same sex couple, James Obergefel not permitted to be listed as the surviving spouse on Arthur’s death certificate, DeBoer and Jayne Rowse seeks relief from the continuing uncertainty their unmarried status creates in their lives, Ijpe DeKoe and his partner Thomas Kostura endure a substantial burden for not being recognized as a couple.
He first admitted that marriage is an important cornerstone of social governance. To this end, he said that Confucius taught us that ” marriage lies at the foundation of government.” He also cites the remarks made by the ancient Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero and the French thinker Alexis de Tocqueville in order to show the importance of marriage to society and order. But all these notions of marriage are based on heterosexual marriages.
After stating the traditional view of marriage, he immediately stressed that the concept of marriage is changing. He outlined the process of the marriage of human beings from religion, politics and wealth to free and voluntary marriage, from the deprivation of women’s rights to the emancipation of women, from the prohibition of interracial marriages (the history of some states in the United States prohibiting the marriage of blacks and whites) . Through these expositions, he wants to tell people that the discussion of same-sex marriage can not stop at the traditional view of marriage and should keep pace with the times. The judge then discussed the changes in society’s perception of homosexuality and how it was handled. People are more tolerant of same-sex sexual orientation. The remaining core issue is whether same-sex marriage can be protected by the U.S. Constitution. According to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Judge Kennedy first stated that the right to marriage is a fundamental right protected by this rule. However, does this right of marriage include the rights of homosexuals to marry? The judge used a lot of space to prove this point. He cites the case of the Supreme Court, which proposed that the Fourteenth Amendment protect the right of personal dignity and autonomy, which includes the definition of the identity and belief of individual privacy.
The judge then described four basic principles and traditions that sought to apply the constitutional protection of marriage to same-sex marriages.
First, an individual’s choice of marriage is an intrinsic part of personal autonomy. Based on this concept, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded in 1967 that the injunction prohibiting intermarriage in black and white was invalid in the of Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1,1967.
Second, marriage is important because it is a combination of two people. Based on this principle, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded in 1972 that the Constitution protected the right of couples to choose their own contraception. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)
Thirdly, protecting the right to marriage is also to protect the stability of children and families so that their children’s support, education and entertainment are protected.
Fourthly, the traditions of the United States and the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court make it clear that marriage is the cornerstone of the social order. This principle applies to the opposite sex, also applies to the same sex. Social order is not stable if those same-sex families who want to form a family are excluded from the protection of marriage law.
Justice Kennedy also analyzed the articles on “equal protection” of the 14 amendments to the Constitution and concluded that same-sex marriage should be equally protected.
The dissenting opinion is that The Supreme Court should not go beyond its power to make decisions that should be made by the legislature and the states. The judges only authorized to make objective judgments without coercion and subjective will. The dissenting opinion believe that they had given up their judicial prudence and made attempts to transform society based on their own intentions. The main objection of a the judges is that most of the five judges passed an almost constitutional amendment by their own judicial power.
I have a mixed feelings about the decision. It is well known that the U.S. political system determines that the three main branches of the government (administration, legislation and judiciary) can never affect the domestic affairs to a certain extent or even decide on the democratic process. The decision is not made in a democratic way. Just as the judge Scalia said: “This is a naked judicial claim to legislative — indeed, super-legislative — power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. The United States is a society that respects the process. However, the process of this decision can not convince most Americans because they feel that their opinions have not been fully respected. Personally, I agree with the decision, but I do not believe the way to reach it is the right way.