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The Supreme Court’s decision Friday to take on two huge same-sex marriage cases has spurred speculation about which way the justices will rule.We don’t have to wonder how some justices, like the openly anti-gay Antonin Scalia, will vote after the high court hears arguments in March.
While wild cards John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy could keep us guessing about the fate of same-sex marriage, there are signs that both the Republican-appointed justices could vote for gay rights.
Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, didn’t rule on any major gay rights cases as a judge but worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists while he was a lawyer, The New Yorker has pointed out.
As an attorney with Hogan & Hartson, Roberts helped represent gay activists fighting to overturn a voter-approved law in Colorado that would have let landlords and employers discriminate against gays, the LA Times has reported.
The Supreme Court sided with the gay rights activists in a landmark 1996 decision.
Roberts didn’t hesitate to pitch in on the pro bono case, according to the Times, but he has also stressed that lawyers don’t always share the views of their clients.
On the other hand, Kennedy’s vote might be easier to predict. Kennedy, a freedom-loving libertarian, wrote two landmark opinions for gay rights, including one striking down Texas’ sodomy law in 2003.
Judge Vaughn Walker, who initially struck down California’s anti-gay Proposition 8, cited Kennedy’s pro-gay opinions 15 times when overturning the voter-approved law, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick has reported.
“Walker trod heavily on the path Kennedy has blazed on gay rights,” Lithwick wrote.