USA: Prop 8, DOMA Updates, Speculation, and Analysis

Written by scott on June 21st, 2013

US Supreme CourtExpectations are building for Monday, the last currently announced day of rulings from the US Supreme Court. Although it’s very likely that the court will announce an additional day or two for rulings later in the week. Lisa Keen at Queerty reports:

Although the chief justice has not yet announced the last day of the session, it most likely will be Thursday, June 27. With three decisions in other cases released today, that leaves just 11 opinions left outstanding to be released next Monday and Thursday. Historically, the Supreme Court releases opinions in its most debated cases on the last day of the session. In this session, however, the court still has opinions pending in two other highly contentious cases –one concerning the Voting Rights Act and the other concerning affirmative action. There’s a good chance the court will issue its marriage decisions Monday and issue the other two on Thursday.

Over at the Washington Blade, Dana Rudolph says that waiting is the hardest part:

I’m not sure which is worse: Waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue its rulings on marriage equality or waiting for the results of a pregnancy test. It would relieve quite a lot of stress in the LGBT community if we could just pee on a stick to know how the justices will decide. Then again, when my spouse and I were starting our family, our doctor told us the sticks wouldn’t work because of the fertility drugs my spouse had taken. We tried them anyway. The doctor was right—we had to be patient and wait for results of the blood test.

Over at LGBT Weekly, Joel Trambley walks us through some of the possibilities:

“But they have to decide, right?” Actually, no. They could push any of the cases until next term. Currently there is nothing, such as a request to re-argue a legal point, that suggests this will happen.

“DIG.” Dismissed as Improvidently Granted. Four justices have to agree to hear a case. In essence, a DIG is when the other five say, “We were right, we shouldn’t have heard this case.” Should SCOTUS “DIG” the Prop. 8 case most agree that the Ninth Circuit decision overturning Prop. 8 would stand. (No one is really talking about a DIG of DOMA.)

Rebekah Metzler at the U.S. News & World Report says there’s nothing unusual about such big decisions coming out right at the end of the term:

“Some of this is kind of artificial anxiety in that we’ve always thought that it would go down this way, but clearly you have to show up every single day that is a decision day,” [Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for the Human Rights Campaign] says. “It’s all come down now to 11 decisions in one day, next Monday, unless they schedule additional decision days. That in and of itself is noteworthy, that they haven’t yet announced additional decision days for next week. So we’re waiting on pins and needles.”

So now we wait for Monday. Or (maybe) Thursday. Either way, it will likely be in time for the big Pride parades in NYC and SF on the weekend.


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