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US: Supreme Court ruling on equal marriage cases expected imminently

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  1. Gabrielle 6 Jun 2013, 4:24pm

    “In the next three weeks” is not “imminently”. In the next 12 hours is imminently…

    1. GulliverUK 6 Jun 2013, 4:51pm

      PN needs a few lessons in the English language – “imminent” meaning likely to occur at any moment. Tu tu with these “Sun”-style headlines. We will read it anyway, no need to go all tabloid on us ! :D

    2. Exactly. As someone whose 5 year relationship’s future depends on the outcome of the DOMA trial, this headline was just cruel.

      1. bobbleobble 6 Jun 2013, 7:08pm

        Good luck Rob, I’m in the same boat, fingers crossed!

  2. Not imminently, but soon.

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 5:13pm

    My take on this is that Prop. 8 will be overturned but DOMA may not be overturned. If it is overturned and I’d be surprised if it were, it doesn’t mean that the remaining 38 states will be compelled to introduce Equal Marriage. The decision would only apply to those states with DOMA. It may well let the decision in California remain by not ruling on it and leave it to the rest to decide state by state. Don’t forget, the Supreme Court is stacked with at least 5 very staunch republican Catholics, none of whom support EM.

    1. bobbleobble 6 Jun 2013, 7:08pm

      I actually think the opposite to you Robert. DoMA is probably doomed because the detrimental effects are obvious and it’s a clear case of the legislature overreaching. Prop 8 on the other hand is a matter of states’ rights and the Supremes aren’t always keen to get involved.

      I’m not sure I agree about the stacking either. Certainly there are three Roman Catholics who are bound to vote against gay rights, Alito, Thomas and Scalia. On the other side I suspect all four of the more liberal justices will vote in favour, Breyer, Bader Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan. The real issue is how Kennedy and Roberts vote. Roberts is pretty right wing but he’s also got an eye on his legacy as Chief Justice and I’m not sure he would be willing to go down in history as the CJ who stood in the way of gay rights especially given the sea change in the US at the moment. Kennedy is generally right wing fiscally but socially liberal and has voted for gay rights in the past. So who knows?!

      1. Your breakdown of the court, bobbleobble, does fit with what court watchers are saying. As far as I know, Scalia and Thomas are the only ones on record with an opinion.

        One aspect of Perry the SCOTUS may want to focus on is Article 3 standing. They didn’t grant it to proponents of Arizona’s ID law and they may decide the Prop 8 case along the same lines.

        The Windsor case also has many possible outcomes. They could decide that BLAG has no standing and since Windsor and Justice agree with the lower verdict, there is no question to resolve.

        Never underestimate the desire and ability of the SCOTUS to NOT settle an issue.

  4. There are a few inaccuracies in this piece. If the Supreme Court refuses to rule (this applies to the issues of standing on the Prop 8 case), it is expected that lower rulings would stand invalidating prop 8.

    Also, your statement that scrapping DOMA will result in federal benefits being opened to couples in California and 9 other states rests on the assumption that prop 8 will be invalidated, something we’re expecting but that isn’t in the bag yet. (Also, I believe there are 12 states now that have introduced equal marriage.

    1. GulliverUK 6 Jun 2013, 6:11pm

      12 + District of Columbia ?

      1. Yes. I always forget to mention DC

    2. If the SCOTUS refuses to rule on Perry, the 9th Circuit’s ruling will stand (assuming the SC doesn’t invalidate their hearing of the case based upon standing). Both the District and Appeals courts ruled Prop 8 invalid.

      I’ve read two different opinions about the effects of federal benefits if DOMA is struck down nationally. It could apply to all SS married couples, or it could apply only to couples residing in states where their SS marriage is recognised. The issue would be recognition in the state of residence not ability to get married in that state.

      My SS marriage is recognised in CA today (even though other SS couples cannot marry in CA), so federal benefits would most likely apply to my husband and me even if Prop 8 was upheld by the SC. There are several states in the US which recognise some or all SS marriages but do not perform them.

      These issues are discussed very well at SCOTUSbolg.

      1. I can’t imagine that the ruling on DOMA would mean that the federal government would recognise marriages in states that don’t recognise them but I suppose anything is possible. I still expect the opposite to the outcome: if the state recognises your marriage, the feral government will honour it.

        You talk about states that recognise SS marriages from other states but do not perform them. For example? I’ve never heard of this…

  5. PN’s coverage of US issues is always bad, but their coverage of Prop 8 & DOMA has always been worse. It’s like reading an AP article translated into Russian by a French-speaker and back into English with a visit to a free translation online service.

    Anyone who is interesting in understanding these issues should visit They even have great archives of what has happened since Prop 8 first passed in 2008. Other great online sources are the sites for NCLR, Freedom to Marry and the SCOTUSblog.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 6:32pm

    I don’t know why my post was given the thumbs down. I’m all for EM in every country but the reality is, in the U.S. what I said may well be the case in view of the composition of the Supreme Court. I only hope they do overturn DOMA, an appalling measure that should never have been allowed to exist.

    1. I usually find your comments intelligent, but this one was just naff.

      “My take on this is that Prop. 8 will be overturned but DOMA may not be overturned”

      So, you are predicting that the SCOTUS will rule that Prop 8 is constitutional DOMA is unconstitutional?

      The 2nd and 3rd sentences are just beyond parsing.

      And the last sentence is neither correct about the composition of the SCOTUS nor cognisant of any statements or rulings many of those justices have made.

  7. Enrique Esteban 6 Jun 2013, 6:54pm

    Pls, sign to support equal marriage in Romania.
    Help to sign: prenume=first name; nume=family name; oras=city; tara=country.
    You’ll receive a mail and have to click on 2nd link to confirm.

  8. What happens if the supreme court dismissed proposition 8 ? Will that mean the decission of the lower court is standing ?

    1. If the SCOTUS dismisses the Perry case, a number of things can happen. They can rule that do not have standing which makes Judge Walker’s ruling take affect (once stays, etc. are lifted). The SCOTUS can order the 9th Circuit to rehear the case. I haven’t heard of a scenario where they can vacate the District court ruling and not rule themselves, but that would be a question to ask on SCOTUSblog or equalityontrial. In short, if the SCOTUS dismisses the Perry case, the most likley outcome is that marriages would resume in CA soon afterwards.

      From the reading I’ve done, I believes that the SCOTUS will rule that does not have standing and the 9th Circuit should have denied to hear the case on those grounds.

      I think that is the best outcome. It restores marriage equality in California without setting a percent that private entities who supported voter initiatives have standing to represent governmental entities in federal court.

  9. My prediction is that prop 8 will not be ruled upon and thus the previous lower court’s ruling will stand. In this California gay marriages will resume. DOMA on the other hand will be ruled against.

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