Kennedy, a appointee of President Ronald Reagan, is the most unpredictable. Named to the court two years after the far more colorful and quotable Antonin Scalia, Kennedy ultimately became the 14th-longest serving justice in history. Kennedy, who turns 82 next month, was something of an accidental nominee. Like several other Republican presidents' choices before and since, Kennedy eventually proved to be his own person on the court, veering from the conservative legal orthodoxy that favors a limited role for unelected judges. More: No vacancy yet : Liberals, conservatives prepare to battle for control of Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, dissenting from the court's decision that found there was a constitutional right to marriage equality, wrote on Friday that the Constitution "says nothing about a right to same-sex marriage. In Alito's individual dissent, which was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, he wrote that same-sex marriage "lacks deep roots" and "is contrary to long-established tradition. Alito said the majority opinion "compares same-sex marriage bans to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women" and will be "exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent. He also expressed his fears about what will happen to those who do not believe that gay and lesbians have the right to marry. Do you have information you want to share with HuffPost?
It does not. The Constitution leaves that question to be decided by the people of each State. Our Nation was founded upon the principle that every person has the unalienable right to liberty, but liberty is a term of many meanings. For classical liberals, it may include economic rights now limited by government regulation.
But according to one dissenting justice, the decision instead represents a threat to another group of citizens. Or rethink your position. But Alito veers dangerously close to Scalia-style hysteria when he worries that legalizing same-sex marriage will unleash an urge for retribution among gays and lesbians, who will--what? How can he fail to grasp that the nation has already experienced bitter and lasting wounds from the despicable way it has treated its gay citizens?