But language in some of his most controversial opinions shows not a desire for one side’s total victory as for both side’s friendly accommodation of one another.

In Obergefell, Justice Kennedy took care to recognize that “religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”

In Masterpiece Cakeshop, Justice Kennedy followed through on this, writing, “To describe a man’s faith as ‘one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use’ is to disparage his religion in at least two distinct ways: by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetorical—something insubstantial and even insincere.”

This sounds not so much like legal argumentation as like a plea that combatants in the culture war should show respect — even friendship — for each other.