Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The time is now SCOTUS

The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land.
The justices are meeting today to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.
The court is hearing extended arguments, scheduled to last 2 1/2 hours, which also will explore whether states that do not permit same-sex marriage must nonetheless recognize such unions from elsewhere.
The Scotus hearing has ended. There was no trial, it was oral arguments. Both sides argued why SCOTUS should rule either way. And the justices questioned both sides.
Kennedy took both sides, and Roberts said nothing. These are the two deciding votes for the two questions.
The justices will get together in the next two weeks and vote. They will then have six weeks to write their opinions.
There are two decisions being reached:
1) Do people in the USA have the right to a same-sex marriage?
2) Must every state recognize the marriage of another state?  If Texas says no to gay marriage, must they be forced to recognize a marriage in California?
If the court says yes to 1 then question 2 is irrelevant.
If the court says no to 1 and yes to 2, then someone in Texas can fly to New York, get married, and then Texas would be forced to recognize the marriage in New York.
You can hear the arguments below,  the release audio tapes once it is done.

The time is now SCOTUS!

The nine justices of Suprem Court have to decide
if same-sex marriage can be legal in all the U.S.


  1. The most likely date for a decision announcement is the last Monday in June, or the Monday before that. They will be taking a break on July 1 between terms, and they like to wait for the very end of a term to announce controversial decisions. They will probably take a vote on marriage equality in the next two weeks, and then write opinions which take a few weeks. The other big case this term is King vs. Burwell which will decide the fate of Obamacare once again,but there are other big cases this term to watch for such as the one on lethal injection for capital punishment -- they have to decide if it is cruel and unusual punishment (not every state in the USA kills people btw, but it is a up to the states whether or not they do this individually).

  2. Update: The news from questioning today is mixed. Justices Kennedy and Roberts (the swing votes) did not sound convinced that SCOTUS should force all states to recognize same-sex marriages. There are actually two questions the court is ruling on -- first, do all states need to allow same-sex marriages to be performed, and second, do they need to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state if they themselves do not recognize it? It is conceivable based on questioning today that they will rule yes on the second question and no on the first question -- which will make the matter moot, since a couple in Texas could get married in Florida, for example, and have their marriage by legal in Texas. Kennedy was distinctly unpredictable in his questioning today, taking the views of both sides. It is still undetermined what the June ruling will be.

  3. Thanks Eddi for your explanations, always very welcomed!

  4. By marc antony:

    They look an interesting bunch(not). I wonder what their partners think about them.

  5. By Michael Fitzgerald:

    I read the transcript of the oral arguments this morning. I must confess I was disappointed by Judge Kennedy's comments. I'm less certain now than I was before regarding a favorable outcome for marriage equality. I hope my fears turn out to be unfounded when the court announces its decisions in June (on both cases). I wish all of the Supreme Court Judges could "walk a mile" in the shoes of an LGBT individual before rendering a decision on these cases. I have a feeling that if they personally experienced the bigotry and hate that many of us experience every day of our lives, they would then vote for equality.

  6. By Henry Helares:

    Well, of course... Are we not people in those fifty states? If they don't... then, why don't they exempt us from paying those taxes that sustain those governmental system in which we cannot participate in legally binding marriages? Fair is fair. We grease the machinery that allows straight people to get married... but WE CAN'T?

  7. By Henry Helares:

    They either move us forward 100 years, or they send us right back to the Middle Ages... Keeping our fingers crossed!