Did Justice Kennedy plan to write a sweeping Perry opinion until nervous liberal justices yanked the standing rug from under him? There’s been speculation to that effect ever since the Court’s big day, but now Roger Parloff of Fortune offers circumstantial evidence in the form of passages from Kennedy’s Windsor opinion (and Scalia’s dissent). Excerpt:
…it’s possible, and I think likely, that when Kennedy realized he wasn’t going to get to write an opinion on the merits in Perry he at least imported into the DOMA ruling some of his thoughts bearing upon how cases like Perry should be decided.
How can I possibly say that? Kennedy’s diction throughout his DOMA ruling (including the passages from it that Scalia quotes so bitterly) often evokes that of the briefs filed on behalf of the Perry plaintiffs (the same-sex couples eager to marry in California) more than that of the briefs filed on behalf of Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the DOMA case.