Did the Supreme Court move too quickly to address whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry?
Should the states instead be left to continue the gay marriage experiment for a while?
Those were some of the sentiments expressed by Supreme Court Justices as California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, was argued before the High Court.
This full oral argument transcript may shed light on where the Justices stand on this issue. Or maybe not. After all, trying to extrapolate where the Justices will ultimately vote is fraught with pitfalls.
For what it’s worth, here are are some of the Justices’ comments (followed by the full transcript after the jump).
“I just wonder if this case was properly granted,” said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
“You want us to step in and assess the effects of this institution, which is newer than cellphones and/or the Internet?” said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.
“Why is taking a case now the answer?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked.
Justice Kennedy, who likely holds the decisive vote, also voiced sympathy for the children of gay and lesbian couples.
“There’s some 40,000 children in California that live with same-sex parents. They want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important.”
Of course, Justice Kennedy also spoke of uncertainty about allowing same-sex marriage.
“We have five years of information to pose against 2,000 years of history or more.”