Antonin Scalia Dissent In Marriage Equality Case Is Even More Unhinged Than You'd Think

06/26/2015 10:11 am ET | Updated Jun 26, 2015

WASHINGTON -- Justice Antonin Scalia has really had it.

Scalia's dissent in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which officially made marriage equality the law of the land, runs for eight pages, but amounts largely to a big, arms-crossed "harumph."

"I join THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy," he begins.

"The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me," he offers. "It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best."

"But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law," he opines. "Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its 'reasoned judgment,' thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect."

Scalia even offered what may be the first legal citation of a hippie.

"'The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality,'" he quoted from the majority opinion before adding, "Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie."

HuffPost went to look for the first hippie we could find, per Scalia's instructions. Neil Cousins, a 61-year-old man from Alexandria protesting nuclear weapons outside the White House, said he had come to this very park in the 1970s for pot smoke-ins, but added that there really haven't been hippies around since the Grateful Dead stopped touring. He was nonetheless willing to offer a judgment on Scalia's assertion that marriage abridges rather than expands intimacy. "I've known it to have both reactions," he ruled. "Scalia is a big knucklehead."

In Scalia's dissent, he also bemoaned the tone of the majority opinion.

"The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic," he writes. "If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: 'The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,' I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

"And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation," he writes. "But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch."

Each of the four opponents of the ruling wrote their own dissent but Scalia, opposing for every reason anybody could come up with, joined the three he didn't write.

Here are the most delightfully cranky lines from his Obamacare -- or, in his christening, SCOTUSCare -- dissent from Thursday.

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