Best Quotes From Scalia's Same-Sex Marriage Dissent

In 1986, Reagan appointed Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court. Today, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right. Judge Scalia has been described as "sarcastic", "a total dick", and a "homophobe". He knows it too, admitting, "It’s fun to push buttons." Unsurprisingly, he authored a snarky dissent to today's decision.

This is all in good humor,  I'm thrilled by today's decision, and I wanted to blog about it, but there's not much I can add to a success already so momentous and widespread. I was amused by Scalia's dissent, so I figured I'd share some of it.

About the Justices who supported the decision, he's scathingly sarcastic.

"These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. "

Can you feel the mockery? The italics are dripping with it. He goes on to describe the majority opinion as "couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic."


"It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so."

Because "justice for all" and "equal marriage" are silly extravagances.



"If ... I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: 'The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,' I would hide my head in a bag."

Because the Constitution should have nothing to do with liberty or expression. 




"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie." 

It's even more ironic that he later uses aphorisms of his own, when cautioning that the hubris of the other judges is "o'erweening pride, and pride, we know, goeth before a fall."


“The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.” (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie..."

I did not alter this or paraphrase it in any way. This quote is directly from the Supreme Court document, punctuation and all, Scalia is responding to the majority opinion. You hear that, people? Marriage is limiting our freedoms. Let's all be polyamorous hippies.



"Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say."

Hey, he's been married for over 50 years, maybe he knows what he's talking about. 


"Rights, we are told, can 'rise . . . from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.' (Huh? How can a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives [whatever that means] define [whatever that means] an urgent liberty [never mind], give birth to a right?)"



The full opinions of the court can be found here. Scalia is fun to mock, but in all seriousness, today's ruling marked an incredible victory for equal rights. Let's flipping celebrate.

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