SCOTUS, Again, Makes No Decision on Gay Marriage Cases

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 3 2012 10:28 AM

Still No Word From SCOTUS on Gay Marriage Cases

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A same-sex marriage proponent holds a gay marriage pride flag while standing in front of the Supreme Court on Nov. 30, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Those on both sides of the gay marriage debate will have to wait at least a few more days to learn whether the Supreme Court will take up the issue. The always excellent SCOTUSblog explains.

The Supreme Court on Monday released added orders from its Friday Conference, but the list did not include any on the ten cases dealing with the same-sex marriage issue. It now appears that those cases will be rescheduled for the Conference this Friday morning. An announcement could come after that session or on the following Monday.
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A quick reminder on those 10 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. (Elsewhere in Slate, Emily Bazelon breaks down the options.)

Many court watchers expect the high court to take up one of those cases, particularly because Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently suggested that she and her colleagues would weigh in on the Defense of Marriage Act within the next year. If the high court follows through with that plan in the coming days, the justices would likely hear arguments sometime this spring and issue a ruling in the summer.

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

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