Liptak on Kennedy’s Handdown in Windsor

July 9th, 2013

Go buy Adam Liptak’s new ebook on the gay-marriage cases, To Have and Uphold. Here is a flavor, describing the dynamics in the Court:

Justice Kennedy was 76, and he had celebrated twenty-five years on the court a few months before. His seniority entitled him to the seat just to the left of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. As Justice Kennedy read his eight-minute summary, he was unusually animated, emphasizing words and phrases like a newscaster. He stumbled just once, over the name of the group representing the House Republicans who had intervened to try to defend the law. It was called, misleadingly, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, and Justice Kennedy could not get his mind or tongue around those words. To the chief justice’s right, Justice Antonin Scalia, the court’s most senior member, was squirming.

After NFIB was decided, I was tempted to write a quick, short ebook about the case, but decided, instead, to go for a full-length popular press book. In hindsight this was the right decision, but the short ebook is a trend that I will certainly consider in the future. Kudos to Adam for pulling this off so quickly.

And this may be the best acknowledgment ever:

Joan Biskupic, Jennifer Bitman, Doris Calman, Ron Collins, Katharine Liptak and Susan Morrison all made time to read the manuscript on short notice, and I am grateful for their many helpful comments. If errors remain, I would prefer not to hear about them.