Saturday, June 27, 2015

A weird sentence from Chief Justice Roberts's dissent in the same-sex marriage case:

People denied a voice are less likely to accept the ruling of a court on an issue that does not seem to be the sort of thing courts usually decide.
My mom (Ann Althouse) responds:
But this does seem to be the sort of thing courts usually decide. And I think people will accept it quite readily. In fact, I think the overall reaction will be one of relief that we don't have to keep chewing over this issue. Let people get back to their personal relationships that were always going on anyway. The country wasn't collapsing because gay people love each other and seek the legal aspects of permanence.
What I'd like to know is: how did Roberts decide that this is not the kind of issue "courts usually decide"? That itself is a decision. What's the standard for saying the Supreme Court shouldn't decide an issue? Is it just based on whether the Justices have a bad feeling about the whole thing? And aren't issues of minority rights exactly the kinds of issues that are often very important for the Supreme Court to decide?