Supreme Court Takes No Action on Proposition 8 or DOMA Cases

Posted by Justin Snow
October 1, 2012 11:58 AM |

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The Supreme Court made no new announcements today on whether they will hear marriage equality cases regarding California's Proposition 8 or the various challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act before the court.

Today officially marked the beginning of the high court's new term, which will stretch into June 2013. Although few anticipated any news on the four DOMA cases petitioned for review by the court, some held out hope that the Supreme Court would announce it is not considering the Proposition 8 case.

Had the court announced it would not hear Hollingsworth v. Perry, then the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against Proposition 8 would stand and same-sex marriages could have resumed in California as early as tomorrow. Proposition 8 was approved by California voters in 2008 and amended the state's Constitution to ban same-sex marriages after the state had already granted that right to gay couples.

After the release of today's order, it appears the justices will holdover Perry in order to consider it at the same time as the four DOMA challenges. So far, only one DOMA case — Windsor v. U.S. — has been distributed to the justices. The court has made no announcement on Windsor either, which began oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit last week. The other three cases continue to be prepared for the justices.

Many legal scholars expect the court to hear arguments on at least one of the challenges to Section 3 of DOMA, although a ruling on the 1996 law, which forbids federal recognition of same-sex nuptials, in unlikely to come until June 2013.

Although California was preparing for the possibility that the state would again start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples this week, a decision from the Supreme Court on whether they will hear the Proposition 8 case is unlikely to come until well into the fall.

[Photo: The Supreme Court justices (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).]


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