Steve Rudner, a local attorney and president of the Equality Texas Foundation board, was in the Supreme Court this morning (Tuesday, April 28) during oral arguments on marriage equality. He was admitted as a Supreme Court bar member, rather than having to stand in line as a member of the general public.
Rudner said watching Justice Anthony Kennedy was fascinating. Kennedy, who wrote the Windsor v. U.S. and Lawrence v. Texas opinions for the court, is widely expected to write the decision in this case as well.
Kennedy began his questioning by asking about changing the constitutional definition of marriage as a right two people have. He was worried about how fast change is made in social issues in the country.
Rudner said his believes the turning point was when Kennedy said the amount of time between Brown v. Board of Education case and Loving v. Virginia was the same amount of time as between Lawrence and this case. He said he thinks Kennedy answered his own question and he believes the right amount of time has passed.
Chief Justice Roberts may vote along with the majority, Rudner said, although the chief justice didn’t ask enough questions for Rudner to get a good sense of where he stood.
He thought one of the best comments was made by Justice Kagan who said the court defines constitutional rights and doesn’t decide who gets to exercise those rights.
Rudner said he despite the protesters outside the court, about 90 percent of those at the court building favored same-sex marriage and as many as 95 percent inside the court were on the side of equality.