In 2011, more than 28,000 California same-sex couples reported being married, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That includes the 18,000 couples estimated to have been married in the brief time that same-sex marriage was legal in the state. Proposition 8 put an end to that, but now that Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision has […]
With the U.S. Supreme Court announcing Tuesday morning that it would release all final decisions for the session on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT, news organizations were lined up to cover the groundbreaking news. But with all the focus on reactions to the decisions and analysis of the legal issues around Proposition 8 […]
After years of waiting, we finally have two U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the legality of same-sex marriage. But neither ruling was the type of clear-cut decision that advocates on both sides of the issue were hoping for. KQED spoke to several experts about the details of the cases and how this could all play […]
In Justice Antonin Scalia’s blistering dissent on the DOMA ruling, he states that majority of justices is now willing to declare same-sex marriage a constitutional right: “It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is […]
Carolyn Clark, Senior Communications Manager at Yahoo, reports that a number of search terms have been spiking at the giant portal related to the Supreme Court rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA Searches past 7 days ending June 25 (breakout refers to a term that is gaining interest and had little to no interest during […]
Thousands of people gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, in San Francisco City Hall and in homes nationwide for long-awaited rulings on same-sex marriage this morning. While many people celebrated the Supreme Court overturning a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act and paving the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California, […]
For almost two hours Supreme Court justices heard arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The court covered wide ground, once again spending a significant amount of time on the topic of standing. This time the questions were around whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, had the legal right to sue. As in Proposition 8, the standing question could give the court the option to avoid the case by ruling that it should not have gone through the court system.
The justices also spent time on whether the federal government should be in the marriage business at all, or if that should be left to the states. Several justices also challenged President Barack Obama’s 2011 decision to stop upholding DOMA, and what kinds of precedent that sets. Solicitor General Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. often tried to bring up the equal protection clause, and whether it applies to gays and lesbians. However, the court often took that question and went back to federal versus states legal rights.
UC Davis Law Professor Vikram Amar discussed the oral arguments with KQED News.
Amar: If one is going to read tea leaves based on the oral argument, it seems as if the court is not inclined to do something huge, in striking down the laws of 40 states that currently prohibit same-sex marriage. My big take-away from this has always been, the court did not really want to take these cases. … They may end up doing nothing at all, because both cases may get resolved on procedural standing grounds.
The basic idea is courts exist to decide crisp disputes, not just answer questions everyone wants answered. So unless you have somebody who is a plaintiff who has a lot at stake, and you have a defendant who is an appropriate defendant, then the court simply should not be able to render a ruling.
On Wednesday morning the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
Listen to the hearing:
Read the transcript:
Read all the of the case filings in the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases.