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Barb Wire

Staver: Conservatives Reading Justice Kennedy’s ‘Tea Leaves’

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By Charlie Butts

Federal judges who are overturning state marriage laws may want to pay close attention to comments from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The nation’s high court on April 22 ruled in favor of a constitutional amendment approved by voters in Michigan to ban use of race as a factor in admissions at the state’s institutions of higher learning.

Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver found his attention pinned to a statement in the ruling by Justice Kennedy: nothing in the Constitution, or in prior cases, gives judges the authority to undermine election results.

“Well, if it’s true here in the affirmative action should it also not be true in the marriage amendments, no doubt one of which will come before the United States Supreme Court?” Staver asks.

If Kennedy’s opinion is true, then what about Prop 8 in California?

And what about the states where federal judges have overturned state marriage amendments as unconstitutional, ruling in favor of homosexual marriage?

Justice Kennedy (pictured at right, second from right in front row) is considered the swing vote on the divided high court. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Staver comments that he and Liberty Counsel have tried to “read the tea leaves” regarding Justice Kennedy’s observations about the Constitution and legal authority.

That legal opinion proved true in the Michigan case, says Staver, “and I think it should also hold true for the marriage cases that affirm marriage as a union between one man and one woman.”

Yet no one can predict what the court will actually do when those cases do arrive.


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