June 10, 2013

Mitchell Katine came to the Supreme Court 10 years ago for the final chapter of Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case in which the justices struck down state sodomy laws. Not even Katine nor the other lawyers working for John Lawrence and Tyron Garner in their battle against Texas' sodomy law imagined the length and breadth of Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority decision, which struck down all remaining state sodomy laws. In a blistering dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia warned that the 6-3 ruling "leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples." His warning proved prophetic within months, when Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court became the first to legalize same-sex marriage.