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Equality news round-up: Commentary on marriage at the Supreme Court

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The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The Supreme Court didn’t release an order list at all this morning (although some sources suggested it was possible.) Even though we have no word from the Justices yet, there’s lots of commentary on marriage equality and the upcoming Court term…

Politico thinks if the Court decides to take up marriage equality, it will become an issue for the midterm elections.

– Richard Socarides wrote about the cases in the New Yorker.

Slate comments onBalkinization is hosting a symposium on the concept of unconstitutional animus.

– The LA Times wrote about the urgency both sides see in resolving the marriage question.


  • 1. F_Young  |  September 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

    The Politico article implies, but does not expressly state, the possibility that Scalia and the other radical right political SCOTUS judges might want to grant cert ASAP, and so might have pressed to cut corners to get the seven ME petitions before the Sept. 29 long conference: they might be thinking short-term and partisan tactics instead of long term strategy. That is, they might be trying to increase social conservative turnout in the November elections.

    If cert is granted this week or next, that might be the reason.

  • 2. sfbob  |  September 30, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I suppose that's plausible. Still, given that any case or cases to be heard won't actually be in front of the court–and certainly won't be decided–prior to the election, I'm not sure why that would be a successful strategy.

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  September 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Increase social conservative turnout ? An issue being in SCOTUS and out of their hands ? Conservative turnout will be increased anyway, they are becoming more and more radical as time goes by and they are more determined than ever to take the senate. I don't think SCOTUS granting cert will influence that..The only reason I think they want to grant cert (and I believe they do more than the liberal judges) is because they believe they have Kennedy on their side.

  • 4. Eric  |  September 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

    The Politico article is more of the same homophobia. Hinting that gays should keep quiet on their depravation of fundamental rights in order for Democrats to win. And, that candidates that lose in close races can blame gays rather than themselves for their loss.

    Given how crappy* the Republican candidates are this election cycle, if the Democrats lose, they have no one to blame but themselves.

    * dishonest, anti-liberty, and hypocritical

  • 5. guitaristbl  |  September 30, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Off topic and probably not important but the 6th heard arguments today on cases after a month or so of not holding any hearings. I don't know if the fact that its "back to work" has any influence on the issuing of decisions but it also issued a decision today argued on july 30.

  • 6. Dr. Z  |  September 30, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    We're having a vacation in DC and we toured Congress, SCOTUS, and the Library of Congress. I had mixed feelings about the first two. On the one hand it was nice to see places where so much history was made. On the other I had smouldering rage at seeing the places where DOMA and Bowers v Hardwick happened. I saw the oil portrait of Justice Byron White, the author of the Bowers decision, and I actually stood there in the marble halls of the Supreme Court of the United States and had an internal struggle with whether to spit on Byron White's portrait. I was inches away, it would have been easy, and as someone who was in ACT-UP I'm not afraid of going to jail.

    I thought about it very hard. But I suppressed the urge.

    America is not a perfect society. Our government has often disappointed us, particularly on civil rights issues: Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson, Korematsu v US, Bowers. It's easy to be bitter.

    In the end, though, we get it right. It may take a while, but the system works. That is the great genius of democracy.

  • 7. ebohlman  |  October 1, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Today's published 6th Circuit opinion was for a case argued July 29.

  • 8. bythesea66  |  October 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I don't see why it would imply that at all. However, though I hope he's correct, that report may be premature.

  • 9. dingomanusa  |  October 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    No, JMG is NOT reporting "SCOTUS Cert Order on ME Cases are coming tomorrow" It is an image of tweet from @rickhasen which says:

    "Breaking: SCOTUS to issue orders tomorrow at 9:30 am Eastern. Could include #SSM cert grant (thanks for holding off for election news!)"

  • 10. mario315  |  October 1, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Sorry for misinterpreting !… THE JMG "BREAKING" News Headline with the words "SSM cert grant" threw me off as to what was really happening…. Very powerful words to put in a headline….

    If this is just speculation, and not inside info, then don't know why it is "breaking" news…

  • 11. mario315  |  October 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Tweet from Kristen Wyatt, AP Colorado reporter, at 8:40 PM tonight, from Boulder, Colorado:

    Asked when SCOTUS will consider same-sex marriage, Scalia says: "I know when, but I'm not going to tell you. (crowd laughs) Soon ! Soon ! "

  • 12. bythesea66  |  October 1, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    If accurate that makes me think they have decided to grant cert on one or more of the cases already before them.

  • 13. mario315  |  October 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Yes, that was also my reading of his surprising and very public comments tonight as well….

    Ironically, he may be giving away more about what they're going to do than Ginsburg did at the Univ. of Minnesota Law School last week…

    But, without a Circuit split, any grant of cert right now worries me…. Has SCOTUS ever granted cert — when 3 Circuits are in agreement— unless it was to overturn them ?….. Why else do this now ?

  • 14. Ragavendran  |  October 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Perhaps the votes for cert would give some weight to Bruning, therefore concluding there is a circuit split. Or perhaps cert grant was because "a state court or a United States court of appeals has decided an important question of federal law that has not been, but should be, settled by this Court." See criterion (c) here: Or perhaps it is something else altogether.

  • 15. guitaristbl  |  October 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Scalia seems to be enjoying himself talking about the ME cases…Sounds rather sadistic to me..!

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