Okay, so we just had a mega-hearing of six marriage equality cases all in one day. So, now what?
Well, now we wait, which isn’t very exciting. But at least it gives us some time to plan our next move, to predict possible outcomes, to formulate strategy, and to masturbate occasionally.
At least one of the three Sixth Circuit judges hearing the appeal promised to rule quickly, so we could get a decision sometime in August. (Or not! There’s no telling when the court will rule.) We could get one big mega-ruling, which would be very convenient. Or we could get six little individual rulings. Each case raises slightly different issues, from recognizing spousal deaths to allowing out-of-state licenses to legalizing the whole shebang. But at their core, all of the cases are about due process (the doctrine that everyone is entitled to certain legal rights) and equal protection (the doctrine that everyone is entitled to those rights equally).
Meanwhile, one of the next big milestones is another multi-case hearing at the end of the month for Wisconsin and Indiana.
So far, three states have petitioned the US Supreme Court for review of marriage equality wins: Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia. The six states that had hearings last week (Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee) could soon join them, once the Sixth Circuit reaches a decision. And then Wisconsin and Indiana won’t be far behind.
That means that the court could have as many as eleven petitions waiting when their 2014-2015 session starts — and so far, our side’s been victorious in all eleven.