I think people don’t spend enough time dwelling on tests of hypotheses that don’t really pan out. So I was interested in this chart from Patrick Egan and Nathaniel Persily seen over at the Monkey Cage looking at how judicial decisions in favor of gay marriage claims impact public opinion on marriage equality:
The answer seems to be . . . not much happening here. If you just look at Vermont, you can tell a story about how judicial ruling in favor of marriage equality lent the cause legitimacy. But if you look at Iowa or Connecticut it seems like a story of a surge in public support for marriage equality leading to judicial action.
The moral of the story, if there is one, is that there’s no real evidence here for any handwringing concerns about backlash. The opinion trend in favor of marriage equality is pretty strongly favorable, and courts should do the right thing.