Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito on Monday said that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling is already posing problems for religious freedom.
“By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right [to same-sex marriage] over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the Court has created a problem that only it can fix,” the justices wrote in an opinion published Monday.
“Until then, Obergefell will continue to have ‘ruinous consequences for religious liberty,’” they warned.
In their opinion, which accompanied the Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari in the case Davis v. Ermold, Thomas and Alito said that the 2015 landmark decision pitted same-sex marrriage against religious liberty.
In the case of former county clerk Kim Davis of Kentucky, who in 2015 made headlines for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Thomas and Alito joined the court in denying her petition for a writ of certiorari, or a review of her case, on the first day of the court’s fall term.
Davis was sued for not issuing marriage licenses after the Obergefell ruling declared a right to same-sex marriage. The Sixth Circuit appeals court in 2019 ruled that she was not protected from qualified immunity, and thus could be held personally liable for infringing on the constitutional rights to marriage of same-sex couples.
In a statement accompanying the denial of certiorari, Alito and Thomas said Davis’ petition “does not cleanly present” the issues at hand in the Obergefell ruling. However, they sharply criticized the 2015 ruling for posing serious and unnecessary challenges to those religiously believing marriage is between one man and one woman.
Read the rest here.
HT: Dr. Tighe