(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- While the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lawsuit brought by Kim Davis, the former county clerk in Kentucky who famously refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, two of its justices had some harsh words for the court’s landmark 2015 decision.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote an opinion Monday that said the court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges was wrong. That decision, which paved the way for same-sex marriage to be legalized, “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots, making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss.”
Thomas further said that Davis is “one of the first victims” of the Supreme Court’s “cavalier treatment of religion” regarding the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling. He further said, though, that Davis “will not be the last” victim.
Thomas recounted what Davis went through in 2015 when she refused on religious grounds to issue same-sex marriage certificates. He wrote:
“As a result of this Court’s alteration of the Constitution, Davis found herself faced with a choice between her religious beliefs and her job. When she chose to follow her faith, and without any statutory protection of her religious beliefs, she was sued almost immediately for violating the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.
“Davis may have been one of the first victims of this Court’s cavalier treatment of religion in its Obergefell decision, but she will not be the last. Due to Obergefell, those with sincerely held religious beliefs concerning marriage will find it increasingly difficult to participate in society without running afoul of Obergefell and its effect on other antidiscrimination laws.”
He concluded by writing that:
“By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the Court has created a problem that only it can fix. Until then, Obergefell will continue to have ‘ruinous consequences for religious liberty.'”
Justice Samuel Alito joined Thomas in his opinion. The two justices believe the Supreme Court should have not ruled in this case, instead making it something that legislators figured out by passing a law.
Many people believe the justices’ comments Monday could foreshadow an attempt to overturn that 2015 Obergefell decision. As University of Texas law school professor Steve Vladeck said:
“The opinion lays down a marker that at least some of the justices already view the court’s recognition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage as an affront to religious liberty, and so may well use the latter to scale back the former in future cases.
“Especially at this moment in time, with major religious liberty cases already in the pipeline and in the middle of a contentious confirmation fight the rest of which could move the court sharply to the right on these issues, it’s a telling — and ominous — message for the court’s two longest-serving conservatives to send.”