Proposition 8 Ruling Takes Aim at Justice Kennedy

By Kate McCarthy

Aug 5, 2010 8:32am

It’s not if this case reaches the Supreme Court, it’s when. And as Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick pointed out on "GMA" this morning, Judge Walker’s ruling that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional was aimed at one man: Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“It has been Justice Anthony Kennedy at the center of a very sharply polarized four-four court who has consistently been over the years a very strong voice on gay rights,” Lithwick said.

Time and again Kennedy has voted for cases that support "dignity and humanity and the right to choose your own lifestyles," according to Lithwick – something that Walker knew when writing his decision on Proposition 8.

“It’s not an accident that in Judge Walker’s opinion there is citation after citation after citation to Justice Kennedy’s language in these gay rights cases,” she told me.

Lithwick counted 15 citations to Justice Kennedy’s previous opinions, she wrote in her column today.

The country is divided on same-sex marriage, with 47 percent supporting it and 50 percent opposed, according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll.

So how will the Supreme Court Justices read Walker’s case when it reaches them? Nightline Anchor Terry Moran answered that question on "GMA"– very carefully.

“Justice Kennedy and a lot of the Justices [at the Supreme Court] are very cautious about one thing, getting too far ahead of the country,” Moran told me.

“You look back to the death penalty, at abortion and what you see is the court doing something sweeping, the country reacting strongly, and that has really had an impact in legal circles and that will be a hurdle of the proponents of same sex marriage to overcome,” he said.

What are your thoughts on Walker’s opinion?  Watch my interview with Lithwick and Moran below and then weigh-in.

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