• Supreme Court Considers Same-Sex Marriage
  • April 1, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • This week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases dealing with same-sex marriage. The first case, a constitutional challenge to Proposition 8 in California that banned same-sex marriage, was brought by conservative super lawyer Ted Olson and liberal super lawyer David Boies (Olson and Boies squared off in 2000 in the landmark Bush v. Gore case that decided the 2000 Presidential election). The second case is a challenge to the 1996 federal law that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    After oral arguments, Supreme Court watchers trying to read the tea leaves suspect that we could be headed for a split decision of sorts. Many of the Justices expressed concern about hearing the Prop 8 case based on the standing of the parties challenging the law. If the Court were to dismiss the Prop 8 case it would leave the 9th Circuit decision -- overturning Prop 8 and legalizing same-sex marriage in California -- in place, but would not go as far as some activists had hoped the Court might in finding a nationwide right to same-sex marriage.

    While the Court may punt on Prop 8, it appears that there is a majority on the Supreme Court that has serious concerns about the Constitutionality of DOMA, which could mean the end of the Clinton-era law. A ruling on both cases is expected some time in June.