Ruth Bader Ginsburg Invokes Constitution While Performing Same-Sex Marriage

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

On Sunday afternoon, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, used the occasion of presiding over a same-sex wedding ceremony to cite the Constitution as the source of her power to wed the two men.

Gushing that she pronounced Michael Kahn, the artistic director of the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, and Charles Mitchem, who works at an architecture firm in New York, to be married, Ginsburg added that she did so with the powers vested in her by the nation’s Constitution, according to Maureen Dowd of the New York Times.

The event was held at Anderson House, once the headquarters in Washington of the Society of the Cincinnati, a club consisting of descendants of the French and American soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War.

The guests, thrilled that Ginsburg invoked the Constitution, clapped with great gusto. Ginsburg was visibly delighted at prompting such a response; there were some who apparently felt she was making a subtle reference to the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision vis-à-vis same-sex marriage, possibly sending a signal that the Court will approve of it.

Ginsburg ripped traditional marriage in April, saying, “Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition … Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female.”

In August 2013, Ginsburg presided over a same-sex wedding held at the Kennedy Center, becoming the first Supreme Court justice to preside over such nuptials.


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