It was a pretty good week to be an American. The Supreme Court made two rulings — one upholding a key aspect of the Affordable Care Act and one establishing that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage.
I don’t need to tell you why these decisions are important. And unfortunately (in my mind, anyway) I can’t give you groundbreaking insight on the nitty-gritty of the cases — people who have, say, been to law school are generally better in that capacity.
But I will say this: Regarding the same-sex marriage case decided just today, I would be very surprised (almost certainly delighted, but definitely surprised) if we see real social change on this level again for quite a while. Think about how far we’ve come on this issue in a relatively short amount of time — though I certainly want to acknowledge that it may have felt like anything but a short time to those who’ve had to fight for a most basic civil right, to those who endured prejudice, discrimination, and even violence because of who they love.
This is big. And though it’s not unprecedented, it’s going to be the big one for a long time. “What an extraordinary achievement,” said Obama in his remarks following the decision announcement, “but what a vindication of the belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.” So let it serve as a reminder that change is possible. Change is necessary, and it is possible.
In today’s increasingly unnerving political landscape (I mean, what?), it seems like things to feel good about are more elusive than ever. But today, we get to take something with us into our post-work cocktail gatherings. It’ll be with us during the time we spend with our families this weekend, and it’ll accompany us on our Sunday errands.
Whether or not you sit around attempting to translate the opinion’s legalese and opining on which justice will author the next opinion and what that could mean, you get to know that, this week, the highest court ruled in favor of the people of this country. Twice. It ruled to take care of its citizens. It ruled for equality. And it ruled for love.
It was a good week to be an American.