Gay rights are favoured over gun rights, complains Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has complained that gay rights are favoured over gun owners’ rights, just days after the Parkland mass shooting.
Former student Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last week.
This led senior Cameron Kasky – one of many students to speak out – to go on CNN and condemn Republicans who see anti-LGBT positions as more important than gun control.
“There’s a section of this society that will just shrug this off and send their thoughts and prayers, but will march for hours when they have to bake a rainbow wedding cake,” said the 17-year-old.
But Thomas, one of the four justices who voted against same-sex marriage in the landmark 2015 ruling, has written a 14-page tirade saying gun ownership is “a disfavoured right”.
There have been 34 mass shootings in the US this year. Four have taken place since the Parkland attack.
Despite these facts, Thomas dissented against the Court’s decision not to hear a case which would have challenged California’s 10-day waiting period to buy a gun.
And he said that “laws embracing traditional marriage… faced a much tougher time in the Ninth Circuit than California’s new and unusual waiting period for firearms.”
The implication here is that same-sex marriage was passed without much fuss, whereas trying to reduce waiting times for guns is getting a raw deal.
Same-sex marriage was, of course, illegal in the US for all 239 years of its history before 2015.
“In the Ninth Circuit, it seems, rights that have no basis in the Constitution receive greater protection than the Second Amendment, which is enumerated in the text,” Thomas, 69, added.
“If this case involved one of the Court’s more favoured rights, I sincerely doubt we would have denied [the petition to hear an appeal].”
Another of the rights which Thomas – who swore in Mike Pence as Vice President last year – complained about being privileged over Second Amendment cases was abortion.
He wrote: “I suspect that four Members of this Court would vote to review a 10-day waiting period for abortions”.
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The Justice attracted criticism in 2015 about his position over Obergefell v. Hodges, the case which led to marriage equality in the US.
Speaking at the time, he said: “Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved.
“Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them.”
He added: “The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”