Antonin Scalia: Marriage Equality Ruling Like Protecting "Child Abusers," "Pederasts"

Source: AP
Source: AP

The Supreme Court of the United States' longest-serving justice is still very unhappy about the court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country.

During a speech at Georgetown University Law Center on Monday, Antonin Scalia denounced the court's 5-4 decision Obergefell v. Hodges as dangerous activism and a gross overstepping of the court authority in the matter, the New York Times reports.

Scalia asserted that while the Constitution does offer explicit protections for political and religious minorities, there was no acceptable way for judges to fairly pick and choose which ones rose to the level of Constitutional protection and which did not. 

"What minorities deserve protection?" Scalia asked the students, according to the New York Times. "What about pederasts? ... What about child abusers?" Scalia asserted that the decision shouldn't have been left to him and his colleagues — actors of the judicial branch of government — but should instead flow from the natural democratic process. 

The remarks drew predictable condemnation from marriage equality supporters. Billy Corriher, a director of research with the legal progress arm of the Center for American Progress, said Scalia's comments were both offensive and ignored relevant case law.

"I think if you look back at the court's history when it comes to marriage, all the way back to Loving v. Virginia where the courts struck down the bans on interracial marriage, there's a tradition of protecting certain rights including the right to marry, and I think that Obergefell is the logical extension of those precedents," Corriher told Mic. "Child abuse is something that is totally different. It's not about the adults. Its about the victims of child abuse. There's no victim in same-sex marriage. I think it's insulting for gay and lesbian Americans."

"I think it's insulting for gay and lesbian Americans."

It's hardly the first time the Justice has raised eyebrows publicly trolling his fellow jurists. Scalia was reportedly enraged after a similar 5-4 decision by the court saved the Affordable Care Act. The judge trashed the decision in his dissent, coining the phrase "SCOTUScare," and has continued to lash out at the decision in televised appearances. He has also freely weighed in on cases long settled — and in which he played no role — like the 1964 landmark freedom of the press decision New York Times Company v. Sullivan, during an appearance at the National Press Club, Scalia pronounced the decision "wrong."

Marriage equality is now the settled law of the United States. Scalia, 79, is now in the twilight of his judicial career and when the most outspoken dissenter of the decision does leave the bench, it's likely to be considered a gain for the LGBT population and its supporters. 

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Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a staff writer at Mic, covering politics and people. He is based in New York and can be reached at JLevine@mic.com.

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