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Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
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Topics In the News
Supreme Court May Delay Consideration of Marriage Cases
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 09/23/12
Last updated on: 09/23/12
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Although the Proposition 8 case and some Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) cases have been docketed for the U.S. Supreme Court's September 24 conference, some sources have speculated that decisions as to whether these cases will be accepted for review by the high court may be delayed until after the November elections. If so, that means that same-sex couples, who were banned from marrying in California in November 2008, will have to wait even longer to know whether they will be allowed to marry in the golden state.

The September 24 conference is the earliest conference at which Supreme Court justices, freshly returned from their summer recess, will consider petitions for certiorari (or requests to review the decision of a lower court). To accept a case for review during the 2012-2013 session of the Court, at least four Justices must vote in favor.

When it was observed that the Proposition 8 case, now known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, had been docketed for consideration at the September 24th conference, it was assumed that we would know on September 25th whether the case had been accepted for review and on October 1 whether the Court had denied review.

If the Court declines to accept the case for review, then Proposition 8 is dead and same-sex marriages in California will resume soon afterward.

However, Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed suggests that various moves and statements by participants in the cases indicate that the Court may delay decisions as to whether to consider the Prop 8 cases and the DOMA cases. He speculated that the Court may decide to consider all of the marriage cases together at a special conference, perhaps scheduled on November 20, 2012, well after the presidential election of November 6.

For those of us who have been following these cases closely, a possible delay simply underscores yet again the slow pace of justice in this country.

In the following video from the American Foundation for Equal Right's Marriage Watch project, Matt Baume explains the previous expectation that we would know on October 1 if the Court had rejected the request to review the Prop 8 case.

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