I want you guys to put yourself in the position of a Supreme Court Justice who must want you? Same sex marriage?

I want you guys to put yourself in the position of a Supreme Court Justice who must interpet the Constitution regarding this issue and make a decision. Keep in mind that this is not about whether you personally agree or disagree with same-sex marriage. It is a question of law and how this matter is best decided under our Constitution. The matter to be addressed in this case is whose rights should take precedence: the rights of states and the majority will of their citizens, or the rights of individuals? For whichever position you take, it must be supported by your interpretation of the constitution. For example, if you argue on the side of the states that have banned same-sex marriage, then your rationale should include an explanation for why you believe the 10th Amendment right of the states should take precedence over the individual right to equal treatment under the law conferred by the 14th Amendment. On the other hand, if you argue for the right of same-sex marriages, then you should include in your rationale an explanation for why the individual rights conferred by the 14th Amendment should take precedence over the 10th amendment right of the states (and the people of those states) to decide who is allowed to marry there. Feel free to cite other parts of the constitution if you believe they apply


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Welp, I just spent the past school year as part of a class that was basically debate/argumentation based specifically on the constitution, so this should be fun.

    I absolutely believe that bans on same sex marriage are unconstitutional. The constitution's relevance in the case of marriage equality has already been established in Loving v. Virginia (1967) which determined that banning interracial marriage was unconstitutional. So obviously the state's rights/reach of the constitution argument has already been settled in regards to marriage.

    That leaves only the issue of whether same-sex marriage rights are worth the same protection as interracial marriage rights under the constitution. In Loving v. Virginia, it was determined that banning interracial marriage violated the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the fourteenth amendment. Despite race and sexuality being different issues, I believe LGBTQ+ individuals have just as much right to equal protection as anyone else, so I see no reason why same-sex marriage bans would be constitutional when interracial ones are not. Plus, I also think that one could make the argument that banning same sex marriage is gender discrimination as well, as the limitations on who can marry whom are specifically gendered, so there's that as well.

    So essentially, I see no reason why same-sex marriage bans would be constitutional.

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What Guys Said 7

  • Well, the I guess since these are both constitutional amendments, you could argue that the rights of the states to be sovereign are just as important as the rights for individuals to have equal rights. So if you're a cold-hearted lawyer in some dusty library, it might be a difficult decision.
    But the job a supreme court justice is not only the cold, literal interpretation of the constitution. His/Her job is also (and equally as much) to think politically (what does the majority of our country think? Is it time for a change of ideology?) and to think socially (what sort of impacts will my decision have on American society?).

    Politically speaking, the case is clear: according to several surveys, a majority of Americans are now in favor of same-sex marriage. This means that a nationwide legalisation would go well with the spirit of the nation I do my service for as hypothetical supreme court judge. Or to say it in other words: if there was still an amendment that kept slavery legal although American society was very largely against it, shouldn't the opinion of the people who live now at this day be of higher importance to me as a judge than the opinion of a 200-year old constitutional amendment?
    Now, socially speaking, the case is even more clear. Keeping gay marriage illegal creates feelings of extreme unfairness and desperation in parts of the society. Discriminating a minority (whether it's gay people or black people or anyone else) automatically leads to an unequal, "unsolidaric" society that forgets to see itself as one, society. As a judge, I would definitely want to avoid this.

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    • Aaactually the judiciary is specifically designed to be minimally influenced by the political leanings of the public (life tenure, no direct elections, etc.). They're designed to make decisions based on the constitution, and be as unbiased as possible.

      But as for the issue of same sex marriage, the precedent of striking down interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia made it pretty clear what the ruling here should be.

  • The 10th amendment, along with the 9th, enumerates no specific rights to the either the US or the States, it only specifies that rights not delegated to the federal government or specifically prohibited to the states are reserved for the states. In other words, it clarifies that the US government has no IMPLIED rights that supersede state rights, not that states have unlimited rights or that the Constitution is set in stone.

    The very process of amendment to the constitution described in Article 5 provides a tool for delegating specific rights to the US and prohibiting them to the states, which is exactly what the 14th amendment does.

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  • If you want us to do your homework for you, I'd rather you be honest about it.

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    • No it's not a homework, we had a debate about it in class today. they were so many students disagree with same sex marriage. I just wanted to hear if other people feel the same way. without adding religion in it.

  • i don't personally believe same sex marriage is right, and i am bisexual to boot, i think yes civil partnerships but marriage no, that should be a man and a woman. don't know the US constitution well enough

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    • Why not? is it because of your personal religion? what if you find someone that is a man, and you guys fell in love and he want to married you? Who says it's should be a man or woman or is that what society says.

  • It's dumb I won't even discuss it.

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  • I don't know the constitution.

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  • I'd be an awful Justice because I didn't read all that.

    I'd flip a coin.

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What Girls Said 1

  • is this really that important?

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    • Hell yes it is. Basic civil rights are pretty damn important if you ask me.

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