Back in March the US Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, took up the matter of same-sex marriage here in the US hearing arguments in cases dealing with California’s Proposition 8 (a law that was passed by popular vote that banned same-sex marriage in the state of California) and the Defense of Marriage Act (a federal act that defines marriage in the US as a legal union between a man and a woman). The Supreme Court has been issuing their rulings on other cases that they have ruled on in the past week or so but thus far, the court’s decisions on same-sex marriage have NOT been released. Today we learn that the Court will issue their rulings in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases tomorrow morning at around 10AM Eastern Time, 7AM Pacific Time. By this time tomorrow, we will know the fate of same-sex marriage in this country as it pertains to those two cases as decided by the US Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court did not release rulings on either Proposition 8 or the Defense of Marriage Act today. Per SCOTUSblog, the court will convene again tomorrow at 7 a.m. PT to issue its remaining decisions … The court has six undecided cases still on its plate. These include the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases.
The Court will issue its rulings on the remaining cases they have to announce, including the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. I knew all along that the Court would wait to release these rulings last. Same-Sex Marriage here in the US is such a pressing issue, there will be celebration and anger no matter which way the Court rules so … I knew for sure that they would wait until the very last minute to issue their rulings. There are a few ways the Court could rule tomorrow. In regards to the Prop 8 case, those possible rulings include:
The U.S. Supreme Court could affirm the 9th Circuit decision that invalidated Prop. 8′s constitutionality. Such a ruling would legalize same-sex marriage in California. It could potentially go beyond California and legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.
The court could dismiss the case by ruling that the petition for review should never have been granted. This would leave the 9th Circuit Court’s decision that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional as the final binding decision. This ruling, however, was narrowly defined and would likely pertain solely to California.
The court could hold that the Prop. 8 backers lack standing under the federal law to appeal. This would vacate the 9th Circuit’s decision, leaving U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional as final, making same-sex marriage legal in California. However, this would leave open the possibility that Prop. 8 supporters could challenge whether that ruling applies statewide.
The court could reverse the 9th Circuit, upholding Prop. 8 as valid. This would mean that same-sex marriage would continue to be illegal in California, unless another state proposition overturns Prop. 8.
In regards to the DOMA case, the court could either uphold or strike down any/all of the provisions of the act that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. I’m not going to speculate as to which way the Court will rule in either case. I know how I want them to rule but at this point, the decisions have been made and it’s a bit pointless to get into the back and forth of “What if” right now. I have hope in my heart and I will just hold on to that hope until we know for sure what the Court has decided to rule in these cases. As I mentioned above, by this time tomorrow we will know the Supreme Court rulings … and we may be extremely happy, extremely disappointed or some mixture of both.
And so … we wait.