It looks like judges are definitely sitting up and taking notice of the surge in legal challenges to marriage equality bans. The Sixth Circuit just announced that they’ll consolidate five different challenges into one mega-oral-argument day on August 6th.
This means that lawyers from a whole bunch of different cases and states are all going to descend on the Sixth Circuit courthouse in Cincinnati. Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky all have pending appeals. Scheduling them all together will save everyone a lot of logistical work.
The big question, of course, is whether the court will issue a ruling on every case all at once, and whether those rulings will be essentially identical, or whether each decision will be different. Each case raises different issues (some are about out-of-state licenses, others about death certificates) so the judges will have a lot to wade through.
And of course, the second-biggest question is whether the National Organization for Marriage will even bother to put in an appearance. Every time there’s a major court event, organizations from both sides will hold press conferences or rallies. But NOM’s been having a rough couple of months, so they might just decide to sit this one out. It’ll be interesting to see just who shows up from the opposition.