Slatest PM: SCOTUS Doesn't Act on Gay Marriage

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 30 2012 4:29 PM

Slatest PM: The "No SCOTUS News is News" Edition

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A same-sex marriage proponent holds a gay marriage pride flag while standing in front of the Supreme Court on Friday

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

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Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Gay Marriage Will Have To Wait a Little Longer: The always excellent SCOTUSblog explains: "The Supreme Court, after taking most of the day to prepare new orders, took no action Friday on the ten same-sex marriage cases now on the docket. ... The next opportunity for the Court to issue orders will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Nothing has ruled out the possibility that some actions on same-sex marriage could be announced at that time, although there is no indication that that will occur. It may be that the Court needs more time to decide what it wants to do next on any of the cases. If no orders on any of these cases emerge on Monday, the next indication of what the Court may be doing with the issue could come with re-setting them for the private Conference that will be held next Friday."

The Ten Possible Cases: Eight are about the federal definition of marriage—a union between a man and a woman—and whether it holds in states that have legalized same-sex marriage. One case is about a similar restrictive definition of marriage under Arizona law. The final case is about California's Proposition 8, the voter initiative that banned gay marriage after the state courts allowed it.

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Which Case Should the High Court Take? Slate's own Emily Bazelon breaks down the options.

Don't Be My Wife: Slate's June Thomas: "I’m a lesbian and I’m never getting married. Why are you?"

What the Justices Did Decide To Hear: Associated Press: "The Supreme Court will soon decide whether companies can patent human genes, a decision that could reshape the future of medical care in the United States. ... Doctors want to use genetic testing to look at these genes to discover whether patients have increased risks of diseases like breast or ovarian cancer, but say letting businesses patent them would get in their way. Companies say without being able to patent and profit from their work, they would not be able to fund the type of medical breakthrough."

Hooray, It's Friday! You made it, we all did. Welcome to The Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

Isn't There Any Depressing News About the Fiscal Cliff To Bring Us Down? Why, yes, yes there is. Reuters: "U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Friday said Republicans and President Barack Obama are locked in a stalemate, a month before a $600 billion 'fiscal cliff' of tax hikes and spending cuts is set to kick in. 'There is a stalemate; let's not kid ourselves,' said Boehner, speaking to reporters a day after Obama made a budget offer that Republicans called unacceptable."

Keeping Things in Perspective: New York Times: "[M]ost Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980. Households earning more than $200,000 benefited from the largest percentage declines in total taxation as a share of income. Middle-income households benefited, too. More than 85 percent of households with earnings above $25,000 paid less in total taxes than comparable households in 1980. Lower-income households, however, saved little or nothing."

Additional Reading: Matthew Yglesias on the Obama administration's genius idea on the debt ceiling; Ezra Klein on the reality of tax reform; and Derek Thompson on aboloishing the debt ceiling forever.

Things Aren't Getting Any Better in Egypt: Washington Post: "Tens of thousands of protesters converged on Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday to demonstrate against the nation’s new constitution, a document hastily approved by an Islamist-dominated assembly in a marathon session that ended early Friday morning. President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood had gambled that passing the charter would calm a political crisis sparked last week when he issued an extraordinary declaration granting himself near-absolute power. Morsi cast the move as a temporary until a new constitution is in place. But if anything, the charter — which passed after walkouts by liberal, secular and other non-Islamist assembly members and in theory will be put to a public referendum — seems only to have plunged Egypt deeper into turmoil."

Or in East Jerusalem: New York Times: "As the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to upgrade the Palestinians’ status Thursday night, Israel took steps toward building housing in a controversial area of East Jerusalem known as E1, where Jewish settlements have long been seen as the death knell for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... The prime minister’s office refused to comment on whether the settlement expansion ... was punishment for the Palestinians’ success in upgrading its status from nonmember observer entity to nonmember observer state at the United Nations, but it was widely seen as such."

GOP Unity Meets Reality: Politico: "About that GOP epiphany on immigration after the election, there’s one small problem that could scuttle a deal: Republicans in Congress can’t even agree on what to do. Some want piecemeal reform, picking off the most popular planks and leaving the tough stuff — like whether to give millions of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship — for later. Others side with Democrats in saying only a comprehensive deal will get at the problem. The same rifts that existed long before the election are still there. So at least at this early date, there’s scant evidence that the deal that looked so promising on Nov. 7 will materialize."

More Quick Hits From Slate:

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