News » Unda' the Rotunda

Idaho Legal Scholar: SCOTUS Same-Sex Ruling 'Earns Its Place in History Books'


Legal scholars in Idaho and across the nation spent the better part of the day Friday deconstructing the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling which grants the right of same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states. In a 5-to-4 decision, with "swing vote" Justice Anthony Kennedy siding with the majority, the high court ruled  that same-sex marriage is a fundamental civil right, under the clause of the 14th amendment.

Shaakirrah Sanders, professor of law at the University of Idaho College of Law in Boise
  • Shaakirrah Sanders, professor of law at the University of Idaho College of Law in Boise
“It’s certainly a landmark case for LGBT rights,” Shaakirrah Sanders, Boise-based law professor at the University of Idaho’s College of Law told Boise Weekly.“That alone will earn its place in history books." 

But what's still unclear after Friday’s ruling is the scope in which individuals will be able to use religious grounds to deny civil services to others. One particular northern Idaho business, The Hitching Post, says it continues to deny marriage services to same-sex couples based on what business owners insist is their faith-driven beliefs.

Sanders told BW that she believes Friday’s ruling “adds another layer to academic discourse,” in Idaho schools, particularly the U of I's law school. As a professor teaching on issues of constitutional law and freedom of speech and press, Sanders said she expects the case will pave the way for further LGBT-rights legislation.

“I think we will see a lot fewer laws that seek to burden individuals based on sexual orientation,” says Sanders.

Meanwhile over at the Boise office of the ACLU of Idaho, acting executive director, Leo Morales, said Friday was “a joyous day to be living in America.”

“Today our highest court affirmed what we already knew to be true: that love, commitment and responsibility in marriage between two people is universal and no state law should abridge this fundamental right of two people to marry,” said Morales. “Marriage is a life-long commitment to take care of each other in good times and bad, for better or worse.”