Marriage Equality at the Kagan Hearings

Posted by Chris Geidner
June 29, 2010 2:02 PM |

In the opening statements of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, on Monday, June 28, only one senator gave even a hint of a mention at marriage equality. The mention came from Maryland's own Sen. Ben Cardin (D). In his opening, he said:

If you believe that you have a right to fall in love and get married to whomever you wish, you are mostly correct, but only because the Supreme Court intervened on the side of the American people when it ruled in Loving vs. Virginia that inter-racial couples could marry. Indeed prior to that decision, the parents of the current President of the United States and some members of this United States Senate could not have been married in some states of this nation.

If you believe that what you do in your own home, in your own bedroom, is your business and no one else’s – especially not the government’s – you also are correct, but only because Supreme Court decisions like Griswold v. Connecticut and Lawrence v. Texas reinforced the individual’s right to privacy, keeping government out of the private consensual activities of adults.

Although Kagan's opposition to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was a prominent topic of discussion on Tuesday morning, marriage equality has not yet been raised in the question-and-answer portion of the hearings. Cardin, however, is expected to question Kagan this afternoon.

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