Correction appended Feb. 12
Justice Clarence Thomas criticized the Supreme Court’s decision not to postpone the start of same-sex marriages in Alabama Monday, in a dissent that suggested his colleagues had already made up their mind on gay marriage ahead of a ruling later this term.
“This acquiescence may well be seen as a signal of the court’s intended resolution of that question,” Thomas wrote in his dissent to a decision not to review a lower court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. “This is not the proper way to discharge our [constitutional] responsibilities. And, it is indecorous for this Court to pretend that it is.”
U.S. District Judge Callie Granade struck down Alabama’s ban of same-sex marriage in January, but stayed implementation of the decision so it could be appealed to the Supreme Court. On Sunday, the justices declined to hear an appeal by a vote of 7-2 and, by default, allowed same-sex marriage to begin there. Thomas was joined in his dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Supreme Court will hear challenges to same-sex marriage bans in four states in the coming months and is expected to issue a ruling by the end of June. The decision will likely apply to all 50 states.
Correction: The original version of this article misstated the Supreme Court Justice who joined Clarence Thomas in his dissent. It was Antonin Scalia.