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David Weigel: Nino Scalia's Frantic Cry for Help


David Weigel:

DOMA struck down: The Supreme Court and the end of gay marriage ban.: By general agreement, the strangest read in the United States v. Windsor decision—the one that neuters the Defense of Marriage Act—comes at the start of Antonin Scalia's dissent.

We have no power to decide this case. And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation. The Court’s errors on both points spring forth from the same diseased root: an exalted conception of the role of this institution in America.

This comes literally 24 hours after the court really did invalidate legislation, nixing Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. That law had been passed again in 2006; DOMA had been passed in 1996. No one who'd voted for the VRA had come to renounce his/her vote, but scores of representatives had apologized for DOMA. Scalia's not making sense, unless you read this as a cry for help from someone watching his colleagues validate social mores he deeply disagrees with.