SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy Implies Marriage Equality Opponents Will Soon Come To Accept Decision


Justice Anthony Kennedy says he's well aware of and expected the national outcry by anti-gay activists an other equality opponents, but suggests they'll soon come to terms with it.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that delivered marriage equality to the entire nation. Kennedy, often the swing decision, was placed on the court by Ronald Reagan in 1988.

In a speech at the 9th Circuit's annual Judicial Conference in San Diego today, Justice Kennedy acknowledged the outcry and attacks anti-gay activists and those who oppose marriage for same-sex couples have been engaging in.

A moderator, the AP reports, asked Kennedy how justices handle the public's reactions to high-profile Supreme Court cases.

LOOK: 124 Words From Justice Kennedy's Majority Opinion On Marriage To Remember Forever

Kennedy responded that in 1989 the Supreme Court heard and decided Texas v. Johnson, a case that found burning the American flag was a First Amendment right of free speech. 

Kennedy, who authored a concurring opinion in the case, explained the nation's reaction to that highly controversial case also.

"Eighty senators went to the floor of the Senate to denounce the court," Kennedy said. "President Bush took the week off and visited flag factories, but I noticed that after two or three months people began thinking about the issues."

Kennedy also explained that the Supreme Court is conscripted to deliver fair and impartial decisions.

"We have to reflect on what these issues mean, and when we have a controversial case — and a very difficult case like (same-sex marriage) — we draw down on a capital of trust, a deposit of trust," Kennedy said. "We spend that capital of trust, and we have to rebuild that capital. We have to put new deposits, new substance into this reservoir of trust."


Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr and a CC license