Kennedy on the “Time Compression” and Views Towards Gay Rights

October 4th, 2013

At UPenn, Justice Kennedy offered these remarks on how quickly views towards gay rights evolved:

Reflecting on the evolving case law on gay rights, Kennedy said he’s amazed at how quickly attitudes have changed.

“We live in an era of time compression,” Kennedy said. “It’s simply stunning to me to see the changes in attitudes” regarding sexual orientation.

“It’s something I didn’t think about or know about as a kid,” said Kennedy, who grew up in northern California. “But the nature of injustice is, you can’t see it in your own time.”

I seem to recall that in Justice Scalia’s Lawrence v. Texas dissent, he commented that Justice Kennedy only looked to super-recent history, and ignored several millennia of practices towards gays. I suppose this is part of the “time compression.”