Social justice is becoming the law of the land.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy appeared to make subtle references to his historic ruling on same-sex marriage during a speech on the evolution of the law.
Addressing the Utah State Bar’s annual convention at the resort on Thursday, Justice Kennedy spoke primarily on the history of the Magna Carta, the founding document that established the rule of law 800 years ago.
“For you young people, I know on your next date or get-together, you’re going to talk about Magna Carta,” he joked to the standing room-only crowd. “You’re going to look really cool.”
FOX 13 was allowed to attend the speech, but video and audio recordings were not allowed.
Justice Kennedy said the Magna Carta was seminal in the United States’ evolution of its constitutional identity.
“The Constitution doesn’t come from on high. It’s yours!” he told the crowd. “It doesn’t belong to judges and lawyers. It’s yours! It came from you. This is the meaning of the Magna Carta.”
Throughout his remarks on how the Magna Carta influenced the U.S. Constitution, he referred to “evolution.”
“Remember that Constitutions take time. We have to learn. If the framers had known all of the specifics, all of the rudiments, all of the elements of a just society they would have put them down,” he said. “They used spacious words: life, liberty, property. They didn’t presume to know or predict all of the injustices that a society might encounter over time.”[…]
Other attorneys in the room believed Justice Kennedy’s remarks about the U.S. Supreme Court acting as a voice for the minority was a rebuttal to dissents over his ruling in Obergefell.
“I think he actually took on Scalia’s opinion in that case directly,” said Kate Conyers, a public defender and incoming Utah State Bar Commissioner.
“I think his point is eventually it reflects the will of the majority,” said Michelle Mumford, a civil litigation attorney and incoming Bar Commissioner. “I think right now it’s perhaps still a minority position but not for long.”