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Scalia's same-sex marriage dissent blasts judicial “putsch,” Ivy Leaguers, fortune cookies

Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

Justice Antonin Scalia is not at all happy with the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide — and his dissent shows it. Here are some of the phrases he uses to describe the decision:

  • "threat to American democracy"
  • "robs the People of... the freedom to govern themselves"
  • "lacking even a thin veneer of law"
  • "judicial Putsch"

Additionally, Scalia took several shots at the writing style of Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion:

  • "[the opinion contains] mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages"
  • "The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic"
  • "the opinion's showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent"

He went on to argue that the Court is elitist and not truly representative of America (and gratuitously expressed his opinion that California is not a true Western state):

Scalia dissent 1

He even took a seeming shot at his own wife:

  • "One would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say."

And in a footnote, he said he would rather "hide my head in a bag" than join an opinion that began like Kennedy's does, and bemoaned how far the Court has fallen:

  • "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."