The Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage Friday was far from a clear majority -- the decision was 5-4. Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the opinion of the court Friday morning, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. On the other side, Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas each wrote their own dissenting opinions to accompany the majority finding on the consolidated case Obergefell v. Hodges.

The court ultimately decided to end the ban on gay marriage, ruling that the 14th Amendment requires states to marry same-sex couples as well as recognize their marriages legally performed in other states. In his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that people celebrating the expansion of same-sex marriage could rejoice that they'd reached their desired goal and honor their new benefits but shouldn't praise the Constitution -- "it had nothing to do with it."

Scalia was more blunt. In his dissent, he wrote that legalizing same-sex marriage was a threat to American democracy. He said the decision itself wasn't troubling, but the fact that a majority of nine Supreme Court justices could rule the country via "constitutional revision" was. 

"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," Scalia wrote in a footnote. "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."

Read the full opinion here or below.


  Obergefell v. Hodges by sam levine