Main | Friday, August 22, 2014

SCOTUSblog: The Court Has Given No Clear Signal On Taking Any Marriage Case

Lyle Denniston writes at SCOTUSblog:
Since early this year, the Supreme Court has stepped back into the same-sex marriage controversy five times. While it has done little to explain those actions, it has sent some signals about its thinking. Its most important signals may have been those it appeared to have sent Wednesday, in putting off the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Virginia.

Between the nine lines of that order, the Court implied that it will not be rushed into a decision about which, if any, cases it is going to review. And it left no doubt that the Justices themselves, not the lawyers or their clients, are in charge of the timing. The Court, in short, has not yet gotten caught up in the race to settle the basic constitutional issue just as soon as it could possibly do so.

The Court actually has said very little in the nearly fourteen months since its five-to-four decision in United States v. Windsor – the ruling that did not deal with state power to ban same-sex marriage but is being widely interpreted by most lower courts as if it had very much to do with that. It has not granted any cases on the validity of a state ban, and it has not even hinted — at least not reliably — at what it might eventually decide on the point.
Read the full essay.

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