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Maxwell Professor Gives Perspective on Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling
Syracuse University Associate Professor of Political Science Thomas M. Keck offered some perspective on today’s historic Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage.
“If you take a step back and look at the historical process that got us to this point, it is I would say remarkable how quickly we’ve moved from a situation where LGBT persons essentially had minimal constitutional rights at best. There were no formal constitutional rulings protecting LGBT rights just a couple of decades ago. In a very short time we’ve moved to this quite momentous decision. That is surprising. Constitutional change doesn’t always happen that quickly, but in terms of this particular case, everybody quietly expected it to come out this way.
“This decision is historic. It’s landmark. It’s momentous. It’s a day that LGBT persons in the United States will celebrate for many years to come. It’s the same date that the court has previously issued two other landmark LGBT rulings. This date—June 26—is going to be a day that’s long celebrated in the LGBT community and I would note that by coincidence a number of big cities, including New York City, are holding their LGBT pride festivals this weekend. This ruling is going to be a major point of celebration at those events.”
Thomas Keck, the Michael O. Sawyer Chair of Constitutional Law and Politics, focuses his research on the Supreme Court, American constitutional development and the use of legal strategies by movements for social change. He is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a senior research associate at the Campbell Public Affairs Institute.
Professor Keck is the author of “Judicial Politics in Polarized Times” (University of Chicago Press, 2014) and “The Most Activist Supreme Court in History” (University of Chicago Press, 2004) and has written articles for American Political Science Review, Law and Society Review, and Law and Social Inquiry.
Among the courses he teaches are The Supreme Court in American Politics and Sexuality and the Law.