John M. Becker


Filed By John M. Becker | January 16, 2015 3:32 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

supreme-court-side-view.jpgThe Supreme Court has just granted certiorari -- i.e. agreed to hear oral arguments -- in the Sixth Circuit marriage cases from Kentucky (Bourke v. Beshear), Michigan (DeBoer v. Snyder), Ohio (Obergefell v. Hodges), and Tennessee (Tanco v. Haslam). They were consolidated. And this time, the justices aren't ducking the constitutional questions; they're tackling them head-on.

This means that the question of whether or not the United States Constitution protects the freedom of same-sex couples to marry -- one of the greatest civil rights questions of our generation -- is likely to be decided by the end of June.

The Supreme Court order, issued this afternoon at approximately 3:30 PM, contains the following instructions:

The cases are consolidated and the petitions for writs of certiorari are granted limited to the following questions: 1.) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2.) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state? A total of ninety minutes is allotted for oral argument on Question 1. A total of one hour is allotted for oral argument on Question 2. The parties are limited to filing briefs on the merits and presenting oral arguments on the questions presented in their respective petitions.

Petitioners' briefs are due by 2 p.m. on Friday, February 27. Respondents' briefs are due before 2 p.m. on Friday, March 27. And the reply briefs are due by 2 p.m. on Friday, April 17.

Oral arguments will likely be held in late April, with a decision expected by late June. By the time Pride Month 2015 is over, same-sex couples could have the freedom to marry nationwide. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 36 states, and bans in the remaining 14 states are being challenged in court.

This is huge, folks -- LGBT civil rights are going back to the highest court in the land. We'll see you at the Supreme Court!

The order itself is after the break, via Equality Case Files.

Supreme Court Order Granting Marriage Cases by Equality Case Files

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