Saturday, June 27, 2015

United States Supreme Court Rules on June 26, 2015 That Same-Sex Marriage Legal

All 50 States Must Now Recognize Gay Marriages 

The Final Breakthrough
June 16, 2015 - United States Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.:  Today, before a packed Supreme Court audience, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced the Court's 5-4 ruling making same-sex marriage lawful in every state in the United States of America. In announcing the Court's majority decision, which he authored, Justice Kennedy elegantly stated:

“No longer may this liberty be denied.  No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

Justice Kennedy -
Leading the Charge for Gay Rights

This is the third time that Justice Kennedy, who was appointed to the Court by noted conservative Ronald Reagan (who I expect did not see this coming), has authored a majority opinion advancing the rights of those with non-traditional sexual preferences:

*  Two years ago, he wrote the majority opinion in United States v. Windsor, striking down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples.

*  Exactly 12 years ago to the day, Justice Kennedy's decision in Lawrence v. Texas was published; that decision struck down state laws making gay sex a crime (America sure has come a long way in 12 years, no?).

Federal Rights Previously Reserved for Members of Traditional Marriages Now Available to All Americans

The Supreme Court's decision effectively means that all Americans are protected by any and all laws, state or federal, that protect the rights of, or provide benefits to, partners of traditional marriages.

I Believe This is One of the Most Significant Decisions
by the Supreme Court in the Past 50 Years
Who Formed the Majority and the Dissent in the Supreme Court's 5-4 Ruling That Gay Marriages Legal

Predictably, Chief Justice Roberts, along with Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito formed the dissenting minority. Chief Justice Roberts had this to say:

"If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision.  Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."

Chief Justice Roberts -
Disappointing to this Fellow Phillies Fan
Obviously, Justice Roberts writes as though he believes that the Constitution is as immutable as the Bible.  His opinion on the subject in this case, and others involving human rights, suggests that he is of the mind that the Founding Fathers were God-like creatures, as omniscient about the evolution of America and how to accommodate same when they wrote the Constitution in 1787 as the Lord above was concerning mankind when handing down the principles ultimately published in the Bible.

While I certainly admire the Chief Justice, his reliance on the principle that the Constitution should be read as narrowly as possible because the Founding Fathers anticipated every future evolution of mankind may generously be viewed as intellectually narrow-minded, or, in a harsher light, as intellectually dishonest.

The Culmination of a Righteous, Well-Earned Victory
Achieved After Many Years of Tireless Effort by Many
The majority consisted of Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsberg, Sotomayor and Kagan (the 3 Ladies have not disappointed).  It is wonderful to see women being at the forefront of the battle to protect and advance human rights in our Country.  Imagine, women were not even permitted to vote until roughly 130 years after the Constitution was authored!

"You've Come a Long Way, Baby"
The Founding Fathers likely never saw that coming.

President Obama Expresses Support for the Supreme Court's June 26, 2015 Decision Holding the the United States Constitution Guarantees a Right to Same-Sex Marriage

President Obama immediately noted his endorsement of the Court's holding, emerging in the Rose Garden soon after the decision was announced, and stating:

"The  [Court's decision] affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. Today, we can say, in no uncertain terms, that we have made our union a little more perfect."  

The Face of America -
Not Anticipated by Our Founding Fathers
Philadelphia Area Employment Lawyer Fighting for the Rights of Individuals 

During the first 15 or so years of my career, I worked for two wonderful law firms, more often than not representing companies in a variety of lawsuits filed against or by their competitors, or by their employees.

In 2007, I left behind a partnersip at the High Swartz firm to open up my own firm, focusing exclusively on representing employees.

Sometimes, during the hard times (representing individuals against massive companies represented by teams of lawyers from huge law firms is not as easy as it may look), I wonder why I left my partnership at High Swartz to do this.  Why did I leave a secure partnership in a prestigious firm that was more than 100 years old, a firm that provided me with my own secretary, multiple paralegals and a group of associates to do the grunt work, to spend my career tilting at windmills?

I guess I did it for the same reason I decided to become a lawyer. I did it to secure justice wherever possible.

Today, the Supreme Court achieved justice for millions of Americans inhabiting the Earth today, and countless millions more yet to be born.  And, like all important American legal decisions, it was a shot heard around the World, so that millions more the World over will be positively affected by this decision for so long as civilized society shall exist.

Kind of like the Constitution.

Representing Pennsylvania Employees
in Pursuit of Justice in the Workplace
John A. Gallagher is a Philadelphia area employment attorney who represents workers in towns such as PhiladelphiaMalvern, Paoli, Springfield, Broomall, Newtown Square, Media, West Chester, Downingtown, Norristown, Blue Bell, Radnor, Wayne, Devon, Villanova, Edgemont, Pottstown, Doylestown and Reading.

The father of 4 children, and the step-father to 3 more, John hopes that his children will be positively influenced by his efforts to secure justice, and that they will choose to do the same throughout their lives, whether via their work, their parenting or volunteer efforts.

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