Day 12: April 18th, 2015: 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting for Marriage & for the U.S. Supreme Court
April 20, 2015
Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? John 19:10
Dear Praying Friends,
The U.S. Supreme Court has extraordinary power in our present government system – more than the Founders ever intended. Justice Anthony Kennedy also has extraordinary power due to his moderate opinions, which place him in the middle between the High Court’ s 4 liberal and 4 conservative justices.
Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice, was born in Sacramento, California, July 23, 1936. He married Mary Davis and has three children. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and the London School of Economics, and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School. He was in private practice in San Francisco, California from 1961–1963, as well as in Sacramento, California from 1963–1975. From 1965 to 1988, he was a Professor of Constitutional Law at the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. He has served in numerous positions during his career, including a member of the California Army National Guard in 1961, the board of the Federal Judicial Center from 1987–1988, and two committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States: the Advisory Panel on Financial Disclosure Reports and Judicial Activities, subsequently renamed the Advisory Committee on Codes of Conduct, from 1979–1987, and the Committee on Pacific Territories from 1979–1990, which he chaired from 1982–1990. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1975. President Reagan nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat February 18, 1988 (Bios: Official, ScotusBlog, Wiki).
Justice Kennedy’s rulings indicate he is a moderate, but many believe he leans to the right. He has used his “swing vote” to decide many of the courts most important decisions – one way or the other. It is his slightly right leaning ideology that causes people to say the court is growing more conservative, though strong conservatives deny that to be the case. Some call Kennedy and the court increasingly libertarian. But Kennedy often leaves court watchers in suspense, uncertain of the direction he will take.
The most shocking and pertinent example is Kennedy’s harsh judgment of Congress and its enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 (DOMA). The bill, which passed by an overwhelming vote of 342–67 in the House and 85–14 in the Senate and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, properly reflected the view of the American people concerning marriage. But Kennedy, writing for the majority, said:
“DOMA seeks to injure the very class New York seeks to protect [homosexuals who were permitted to “marry” in NY]. By doing so it [DOMA] violates basic due process and equal protection principles … DOMA’s unusual deviation …operates to deprive same-sex couples of the benefits and responsibilities that come with the federal recognition of their marriages. This is strong evidence of a law having the purpose and effect of disapproval of that class. The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law … are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages … The history of DOMA’s enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages… was more than an incidental effect … It was its essence… DOMA writes inequality into the entire United States Code… DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal. The principal purpose is to impose inequality, not for other reasons like governmental efficiency. (see Key excerpts from the DOMA ruling).
From those brief excerpts, Justice Kennedy seems to display an animus, a hostility toward DOMA with its simple intent to protect the definition and practice of marriage as between a man and a woman, a practice that has been the norm from the beginning of human history, which Scripture says was born in the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, federal judges across the country have taken Justice Kennedy’s lead, declaring state constitutional marriage protection amendments unconstitutional.
It is hard to see how Justice Kennedy’s hostility toward DOMA, ensconced in the Windsor ruling, can somehow not be transferred to his thoughts concerning the motives of the states in the case being considered on April 28th. The only hope is that the respect for the states demonstrated in the Windsor ruling will override the hostility toward those who favor natural marriage.
- Lord, open Justice Kennedy’s eyes to see that he misjudged the Congress of 1996 and that their motive was to protect marriage and not discriminate against anyone.
- May Justice Kennedy hold fast to his view that the states possess the authority to make marriage policy for their people and may he defend that right even if he is hostile to the idea of not recognizing same-sex “marriage.”
- Lord, remind Justice Kennedy, who is married, has a family, and is a Roman Catholic, of the holy nature of marriage as between a man and woman. May Kennedy be persuaded by God Himself that marriage is a picture of Christ and his Church, not to be tampered with, and a gift to all people.
- May God do a thorough work in Justice Kennedy’s mind and heart and may he align himself with his historic faith tradition and the Constitution, rather than the anger manifest in the DOMA ruling.
- May God have mercy on Kennedy, America and generations yet unborn, by not allowing him to go down the same path of reasoning in this case as he did in the Windsor ruling.
Let us pray for Justice Kennedy fervently and full of faith!
Thank you for praying!