A member of the Supreme Court’s conservative wing, Justice Anthony Kennedy, may have voted against most progressive cases, but when it comes to LGBT rights he’s always been on board. In the landmark decision about DOMA Kennedy wrote profoundly for the majority:
The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.
In the wake of the legalization of same-sex marriage, the right-wing’s culture war is taking its last dying breath and notorious County Clerk Kim Davis is part of that. Her crusade to stop marriages landed her stardom among the teabaggers and has energized the right. But when Kennedy spoke to Harvard Law School last week he indicated that perhaps Davis should consider another career.
A student asked the Justice if he would describe himself as someone who thinks “that rational norms guide the exercise of sexual autonomy” and if public officials who disagree with the Supreme Court decision on DOMA have “authority to act according to her own judgment.”
Kennedy acknowledged that there are “difficult moral questions” that any public official must face when asked to “enforce a law that they believe is morally corrupt.” He came just shy of overtly saying she needed to resign, however. He did suggest that he believes any elected official who controls licenses the way Davis does should choose to follow the law or resign.
“Great respect, it seems to me, has to be given to people who resign rather than do something they view as morally wrong, in order to make a point,” Kennedy said. But “the rule of law is that, as a public official in performing your legal duties, you are bound to enforce the law.”
If that isn’t enough of an indictment, I don’t know what is. If only it was something she would listen to.
Listen to Kennedy’s comments in the video around 51:50:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHbMPnA5n0Q?rel=0&w=640&h=360]
Feature image via Wikipedia