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Could Donald Trump Overturn Marriage Equality?

With a vacancy on the Supreme Court, Trump has said he would like to appoint a Supreme Court judge ideologically aligned with late conservative Judge Antonin Scalia, who died in February. Three judges who voted to legalize same-sex marriage — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer — are 83, 80 and 78, respectively. In his nine-page dissent on the June 2015 ruling by the Supreme Court on Obergefell vs. Hodges, Scalia wrote, “To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.”

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“There will be additional issues related to marriage equality, such as businesses that want to discriminate against same-sex couples,” says Brett Ward, a partner in law firm Blank Rome’s matrimonial practice group in New York. There have been a slew of so-called religious freedom bills winding their way through the courts in various states. They could allow a baker or even a hotel or restaurant to refuse service to a same-sex couple on religious grounds. “People will have less choice,” he says. “Those issues are brewing now. They may or may not change the current status quo, but certainly the respect and dignity that everyone should be treated equally.”

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"Could Donald Trump Overturn Marriage Equality?" by Quentin Fottrel was published in MarketWatch on November, 10, 2016.