But it is Justice Alito’s parting jab which resonates the most. Obergefell, he writes, evidences “the deep and perhaps irremediable corruption of our legal culture’s conception of constitutional interpretation.” This from someone who joined an opinion overturning fifty years of due process jurisprudence, and another arguing a return to 1868’s family values.
“All Americans,” he concludes, “should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.” Claim of power—as if the Constitution does not empower the Court to do exactly what it has done: use reasoning and interpretation to defend constitutional rights against laws that would abridge them.
These are, as the saying goes, fighting words, and more importantly, they are words that will inspire others to fight. They are what some call “stochastic terrorism,” the broadcasting of a message so incendiary as to inspire some “lone wolf” to violence—if not actual violence, then precisely the kinds of anti-democratic, anti-American defiance we have already seen among some politicians.