Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—March 7

Justice Anthony Kennedy (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

2013—Less than three weeks before oral argument in cases challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s marriage laws, Justice Anthony Kennedy uses the dedication ceremony of a new court library (the “Anthony M. Kennedy Library and Learning Center”) to distribute a reading list that he has developed for young people.

Entitled “Understanding Freedom’s Heritage: How to Keep and Defend Liberty,” Kennedy’s list runs through many great selections—Pericles’ Funeral Oration, the Magna Carta, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”—only to culminate in Kennedy’s own opinion in Lawrence v. Texas (holding that there is a constitutional right to homosexual sodomy).

Ed Whelan — Ed Whelan is a leading commentator on nominations to the Supreme Court and the lower courts and on issues of constitutional law.

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