Gay Connecticut Supreme Court justice challenges Clarence Thomas

(L-R) Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife and conservative activist Virginia Thomas arrive at the Heritage Foundation October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Drew Anger | Getty Images

A gay Connecticut Supreme Court justice has suggested that US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was hypocritical in calling for a review of decisions guaranteeing the legal rights of gay people – without seeking a reversal of a decision similar that allows Thomas to be married to a white woman. .

Andrew McDonald, a senior associate judge at the Connecticut high court, fired on Thomas in a Facebook post after the US Supreme Court judge leveraged a ruling that struck down the constitutional right to to publicly ask America’s highest court to potentially overturn rulings that ban states from banning same-sex sex and marriage.

“Mr. Justice Thomas had a lot to say today about my love marriage. Oddly enough, he had little to say about his ‘love’ marriage,” wrote McDonald, who married her husband Charles in 2009 while McDonald served in the state legislature. .

“Loving” is a reference to “Loving v. Virginia”, the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a Virginia law banning interracial marriages. It effectively invalidated other such nationwide bans.

Thomas, who is black, lives with his white wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas in Virginia — a mirror image of the white husband and black wife who were the plaintiffs in “Loving.”

Andrew J. McDonald, right, with his husband, Charles Gray, left.

Source: Keelin Daly | ST

The couple in the case, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, had been convicted of breaking Virginia law and sentenced to a year in prison. The sentence was suspended after he agreed to leave the state and not return for 25 years.

The McDonald’s wedding ceremony was led by Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy. As governor of Connecticut four years later, he successfully nominated McDonald to become the second openly gay man to serve on a US state Supreme Court.

McDonald married her husband six years before the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges banning states from banning same-sex marriages.

In this February 26, 2018 file photo, Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald, nominee for Chief Justice, speaks before the state Judiciary Committee in Hartford, Connecticut.

Michael McAndrews | Hartford Courant via AP

Thomas, in his concurring opinion Friday on the decision to overturn the 49-year-old abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade, identified three past rulings that he called “grossly wrong rulings”: the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell, a 2003 high court case that established the right to have same-sex sexual relations, and a case of 1965 establishing the right of married couples to contraception.

But Thomas did not mention a fourth Supreme Court decision that is based on legal grounds similar to the other three: “Loving v. Virginia.”

“Loving” was decided in part by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the Virginia law violated the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. This clause guarantees that no state “shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process”.

The same goes for the other three Supreme Court decisions that Thomas cited in his concurring opinion.

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In this, Thomas wrote, “Because any substantive ruling on due process is ‘demonstrably wrong’…we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in these precedents.”

McDonald declined to comment on his Facebook post when contacted by CNBC.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request from Thomas to comment on McDonald’s message.

Thomas, in his dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, had chafed at the idea that so-called anti-miscegenation laws banning interracial marriage were comparable to similar laws banning marriage between same-sex couples.

“The suggestion by the petitioners and their amici that anti-miscegenation laws amount to laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman is both offensive and inaccurate,” Thomas wrote in a footnote. page in his dissent.

He noted that early American laws prohibiting interracial sex and marriage were based on the existence of slavery in the colonies and later states.

“Laws defining marriage between a man and a woman do not share this sordid history,” Thomas added. “The traditional definition of marriage has prevailed in all societies that have recognized marriage throughout history.”

But on Friday, Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, said Thomas ruled out Loving v. Virginia from the list of cases he wanted to cancel because “it affects him personally”.

“But he doesn’t care about the LGBTQ+ community,” Obergefell said on MSNBC’s “The Reid Out.”

“I’m just concerned that hundreds of thousands of marriages across this country are in jeopardy and the ability of people across this country to marry the person they love is in jeopardy,” Obergefell said during the interview. this show.

He added, “And for Judge Thomas to completely omit Loving v. Virginia, in my mind, is quite telling.”

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