To a lot of people, it may seem downright strange that a Supreme Court justice is asking how social scientists would project the impact of their potential ruling. As a social scientist myself, I find this an interesting phenomenon, of which there is quite a history.
Should the states decide whether black Americans can marry white Americans? In 1967, the nation's highest court knocked down state anti-miscegenation laws. Now the nation -- and the Supreme Court -- confronts a very similar situation, only this time the issue is same-sex marriage.
The undeniable, sharp and measurable uptick in global warming has come since 2004, in the nine years since marriage between gay people became legal in Massachusetts. Katrina anyone? Sandy? Melting ice caps? Rush Limbaugh's persistent sunburn? Real-world consequences.
It is never wise to predict U.S. Supreme Court decisions on oral arguments, or else Obamacare would have been repealed. Based on the Justices' line of questioning, however, it appears that they will overrule Proposition 8 -- but on narrow grounds that will only affect California.
The lesson we all can take from the vision of those who foresaw this week is that often in quests for social justice, what seems impossible at first becomes inevitable later. And it's those who are willing to bear the brunt of being told that their ideas are impossible that move us forward.
To uphold standing for a litigant whose record is so bad that it would be swept in under any law implies that those who would uphold Alabama in this case effectively oppose all voting rights for any Americans.
The future of our family rests in your hands. You have the power to make it devastatingly difficult. You can make it confusing and convoluted. Or you can do the right thing. Please, Justice Kennedy, please, please, do the right thing.
With both gay marriage and a challenge to affirmative action on its agenda, the Supreme Court will weigh in on two of the most charged issues. Progressives are full of nervous excitement about the marriage cases and just plain nervous about affirmative action.
Although few legal minds devote journal space to analyzing oral argument, the Court is so closely divided on major cases that a perceptive listener can usually divine clues as to where the individual Justices may be leaning.