Author: Colette McIntyre
For the past two days, the Supreme Court has been examining the constitutionality of cases related to same-sex marriage and the female justices have been dropping mics all over the oral arguments. Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor have contributed a remarkable amount of sass to the court’s debate on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, dismantling the defense’s arguments against gay marriage with dry wit and hilarious metaphors. Let’s take a look back at the female justices’ zingiest moments from the recent oral arguments.
At Tuesday’s hearing on Hollingsworth v. Perry, or the Prop 8 gay marriage case, Justice Kagan quickly delivered a fatal blow to the defense of California’s legislation. When Charles J. Cooper, the lawyer representing Protectmarriage.com (the original supporters of Prop 8 who are defending the legislation after California officials refused to do so, conceded that the defense’s position was that “the State’s principal interest in marriage is in regulation procreation,” Justice Kagan toppled his argument like a house of cards (#KevinSpacey) with just four sentences:
JUSTICE KAGAN (continuing): Well, suppose a State said, Mr. Cooper, suppose a State said that, Because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55. Would that be constitutional?
MR. COOPER: No, Your Honor, it would not be constitutional.
BOOM! Kagan just brought you back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. She went straight colonial on yo ass. Justice Sotomayor, FINISH HIM:
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Outside of the— outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a State using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision-making that the Government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?
MR. COOPER: Your Honor, I cannot. I do not have any — anything to offer you in that regard.
Listen up, fools — class is in session. Take a seat and let Mrs. Justice Sotomayor teach you a little something about JUSTICE.
Oh, but the female justices weren’t done! When considering the constitutionality of DOMA in United States v. Windsor on Wednesday, Justice Kagan and Justice Ginsburg brought out the big guns (read: rhetorical devices).