Justice Kennedy At Center Of Gay Rights Decisions For A Decade
Ten years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas "" law that criminalized some sexual acts.
Today, on the anniversary of that decision, the high court that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
At the center of those landmark decisions has been Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the court's majority opinions in both.
Kennedy, who often serves as the swing vote on a divided court, has been a quiet if crucial figure in the stunning advance of civil rights for gay Americans over the past decade. A decade during which the high court has grown far more conservative.
Given Kennedy's pivotal role, we decided to take a look at how he framed his opinions back in 2003 in the Texas case, Lawrence v. Texas, and in the decision he delivered today in rejecting the federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.
Both opinions are suffused with the words "liberty," "dignity," "inequality" and "humiliation."