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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The History of the Right to Marry

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights gives the history of Supreme Court jurisprudence on the right to marry.

The Supremes may decide this Friday which of the several cases regarding marriage equality they will consider this term, so stay tuned for big developments. For one thing, If they decline to hear the Prop 8 case, marriage could be legal again in California almost immediately.

Update:   Do go read Brooklyn Law School professor Ari Ezra Waldman's summary of the possible outcomes of tomorrow's Supreme Court conference regarding the DOMA cases and the Prop 8 case. He concludes with this note about timing:
The conference happens tomorrow and though we could know as early as tomorrow afternoon (sometimes, the Court notifies us of its grants immediately), it is more likely that the Court releases its grants on Monday, starting at 9:30 AM. After that, the briefing clock begins. The normal procedure -- 45 days for the party seeking reversal of the lower court decision, 30 days for the respondent to respond, and 30 days for the response to the response -- may be altered, but it will generally look something like that. This puts briefing done by the middle of March. A hearing will be scheduled for shortly thereafter. And, we should expect a decision by the very end of the term.

But, don't forget, if the Court denies a hearing on the Prop 8 case, marriages in California can begin almost immediately.

Update, Friday, November 30:

Veteran Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston blogs at 2:16 p.m. Texas time:
The Supreme Court, after taking most of the day to prepare new orders, took no action Friday on the ten same-sex marriage cases now on the docket. . . .

The next opportunity for the Court to issue orders will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Nothing has ruled out the possibility that some actions on same-sex marriage could be announced at that time, although there is no indation that that will occur. It may be that the Court needs more time to decide what it wants to do next on any of the cases.

See also this detailed, nuanced summary of possibilities by Denniston, as well as this summary "in plain English" by SCOTUSblog editor Amy Howe.

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