CNN: Will Kennedy's opinion about gay rights influence the other conservative Supreme Court justices?
Toobin: I think the idea of justices influencing each other is mostly a myth. They think what they think. They are all highly intelligent, opinionated people who have given a great deal of thought to the Constitution and lobbying from their colleagues rarely changes their mind. But that makes Kennedy's position all the more important, because he's the one who finds himself sometimes allying with the liberals, but mostly with the conservatives.
He is very family oriented and not someone who seems buffeted by changes in the broader world.
But he's obviously a man of broad interests.
Justice Kennedy has a great interest in international law and he used to go to Salzburg, Austria, to teach every summer. In the mid-2000s, I went with him to Salzburg and interviewed him there. It's funny, when he was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1987, he still lived in the house in Sacramento where he grew up. But throughout his life, he has had this incredible wanderlust. He has traveled all over the world -- he still does -- and the summers in Salzburg reflect that. We had a whole bunch of time together.
CNN: Where does Kennedy rank now historically among other Supreme Court justices?
Toobin: Well he certainly belongs near the very top in terms of his influence. As for greatness, I think it's going to take a little bit more time to measure that.
CNN: Will the court's decision push Americans who disagree with gay rights to change their minds?
Toobin: The court often reflects the country and I think this decision does reflect at least in part the tremendous changes that are going on in the country at large about gay rights issues. And the court both reflects and adds to those changes. It's just a dramatic, dramatic change.