Last week's ruling by Judge Vaughn R. Walker striking down California's ban on same-sex marriage will almost certainly send that case to the Supreme Court. At Harvard, Kagan spoke out strongly against discrimination against gays. She called the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members a "profound wrong and a moral injustice of the first order."
Kennedy has also written the court's two strongest gay-rights opinions. One in 1996 struck down a Colorado anti-gay voter initiative which Kennedy said was "born of animosity" toward gays. A second in 2003 struck down a Texas law that treated gays as criminals, saying that "moral disapproval" does not justify treating gays as "unequal in the eyes of the law."