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US Supreme Court adds Tuesday as possible day for opinions on equal marriage cases

Joseph McCormick June 24, 2013
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The US Supreme Court has added Tuesday to the calendar as an extra day on which it could issue opinions on two key equal marriage cases.

Despite reaching the final scheduled day, the US Supreme Court again failed to issue a ruling on two key equal marriage cases today. It has added Tuesday to the calendar for a day on which it could possible issue opinions.

The court may still add extra days after Tuesday, but is expected to announce a decision in the two cases, by the end of June.

The court began announcing rulings at 10:00 EDT (15:00 BST) today, which did not include opinions on two equal marriage cases: challenges towards Proposition 8, California’s ban on equal marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which federally blocks thousands of benefits for same-sex married couples.

The justices normally issue opinions on Mondays and Thursdays.

On the first day of hearings in March, the court heard arguments around Proposition 8, the state of California’s ban on equal marriage. Then the justices questioned the meaning of marriage, and challenged arguments for the ban. 

On the second day of hearings, several of the Supreme Court Justices raised concerns around DOMA, and some took that as a sign that there may be a narrow majority who will strike it down.

There are a number of possible outcomes, which range from effectively allowing equal marriage across the US, to letting Proposition 8 and DOMA stand. has compiled a short history of Proposition 8 legislation and a breakdown of the six possible outcomes the court might make.

As the law is fluid, there is an unpredictable number of combinations of rulings in the two cases.

It is unclear which ruling the Supreme Court will make, with some arguing it is likely to strike down Prop 8, and others arguing that there is a long legal battle ahead until equal marriage is legal across the US.

At the weekend, Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia spoke out to say the court should not be ruling on such a “moral” issue. Some have taken this a possible sign that the court will rule in the favour of same-sex couples.

More: Americas, Anthony M Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice, Chief Justice of the United States, Civil partnerships, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, John G Roberts Jr, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, marriage equality, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, Samuel Anthony Alito Jr, sonia sotomayor, Stephen G Breyer, US, US Supreme Court Justices, wedding

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