Supreme Court Postpones Decision To Hear Gay Marriage Cases Till Nov. 30

The United States Supreme Court has rescheduled the date it will consider whether to grant review of  cases challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

The SCOTUS had previously announced it would be making this decision on November 20.

According to a press release from the American Foundation for Equal Rights, Hollingsworth v. Perry (the challenge to Prop 8) along with several cases challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), have been tabled for consideration until the Justices’ private conference scheduled for Friday, November 30.

Should the Court grant review, the Justices will then consider whether Proposition 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. If the Court denies review, the February 2012 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that struck down Prop 8 will be upheld, effectively ending a four year moratorium on gay marriages in California.

The Supreme Court is expected to release an Order List with its decisions on cases it has granted or denied review by Monday, December 3.  If the Justices don’t come to a decision, they’ll just delay it again for their next conference.

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  • John Doe

    This ought to be very interesting.

    To be more specific, they will be looking at ALL TEN of the same-sex marriage petitions November 30th.

    8 of these relate to DOMA.
    1 relates to Prop 8 out of California
    1 relates to a case out of Arizona

    Although I’m not sure, I would guess that most (if not all) of the 10 rulings FAVOR equality and ruled against DOMA, etc.

    That being said, it would be incredibly difficult (imo) for SCOTUS to overturn these rulings. Most of these rulings were likely based on the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process.

    Is SCOTUS going to basically say that all of these prior rulings are wrong? I highly doubt that SCOTUS would overrule all of these decisions that seem to be saying the same thing: marriage discrimination is unconstitutional.

  • John Doe

    *** To clarify…. I would guess that most (if not all) of the LOWER COURT rulings FAVORED equality and ruled against DOMA, etc. Thus, SCOTUS would need to be overturning many lower court rulings if SCOTUS decided that DOMA is not unconstitutional, etc.

  • Cam

    My guess is, that the best the ultra-conservatives on the court can hope for is that the court refuses to hear the challanges or approves very narrow decisions on them.

    If they refuse to hear Prop 8 for instance, the only immediate effect would be that marriage would become legal in CA.

    But if they hear a DOMA case and it favors marriage, game over for the bigots nationwide. SO I”m betting Scalia and Thomas will argue to refuse to hear them and Ginsberg, Kagen, etc… will argue to take the cases.

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