US Supreme Court reaches last scheduled day to offer opinion on key equal marriage cases
The US Supreme Court has reached the last scheduled day to make a judgement in two key equal marriage cases, and could possibly issue a ruling imminently.
The court will begin announcing any rulings at 10:00 EDT (15:00 BST), which could include rulings 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 court could technically add up to two more days of decisions, despite the calendar currently displaying today as the last, and is expected to rule by the end of June. It normally issues opinions on Mondays and Thursdays, so the likelihood of a decision is becoming greater.
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.
There are a number of possible outcomes, which range from effectively allowing equal marriage across the US, to letting Proposition 8 and DOMA stand.
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.
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