Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Families of Supreme Court Justices are Like Others

March 18, 2013
Plain English Version

Nine justices sit on the U.S. Supreme Court: three women and six men. One is a black man and one is a Latina woman.

The justices have families. Among them there is marriage, divorce, adopted children and the never married.

Chief Justice John Roberts has two adopted children. Justice Clarence Thomas has custody of a grandnephew. Justice Thomas has a child from his first marriage. Justice Sonia Sotomayor is divorced. Justice Elana Kagan has never married.

One of the more important cases to come before the court will be about gay marriage. The question is whether individuals of the same sex have a constitutional right to marry.

How important will the justices’ own lives be in their thinking about this question?

Opponents of gay marriage say “children should be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who brought them into the world.” This might not sit well with Justices Roberts and Thomas.

Observers say that court members cannot help but consider their own lives when they look at big social issues. But you cannot predict a ruling in a case simply by personal biographies.

Affirmative action programs helped Justices Thomas and Sotomayor. Justice Thomas does not approve of affirmative action programs. Justice Sotomayor has not yet voted on the question, but she has spoken in favor of affirmative action.

In the end, we like to think it is the strength of the argument that matters most.

The Christian Science Monitor

Print Friendly

In Brief

Sitting, Standing, Moving: The Road to Health 

At some jobs, you stand all day. At some other jobs, you are sitting at a desk. Whether standing or sitting, eight hours of...

Protecting the Unborn and Newborn From Asthma

The number of people with asthma is growing. About 300 million people worldwide have it. About 26 million people in America have it. Only...

Too Many Antibiotics Can Make Children Heavier

Children who use a lot of antibiotics gain more weight than others. The weight they gain may stay with them into adulthood.

A study of...

Enemy of the Day: Sugar

The U.S. government is saying how much sugar we should consume. They suggest that only 10 percent of the average person’s calories should come...


  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com
Click to listen highlighted text!