SSM & SCOTUS: Mark Your Calendars!

I just received a bulletin announcing that the Supreme Court will be hearing the challenge to California’s Prop 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry) will be heard on March 26, and the challenge to DOMA (U.S. V. Windsor) on March 27. The big day is almost upon us, and I feel extremely anxious. It’s kind of amazing the extent to which I have come to personally identify with this issue. I wish I could be there to hear these cases, but I can’t take time off to go stand in line all night for an event that I can’t possibly influence.

The Court’s ruling could come down as early as April, but with cases like this I would expect not to hear until late May, early June.

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About James Hanley

James Hanley is Associate Professor of Political Science at Adrian College and a Fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The views expressed here do not reflect the views of either organization.
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6 Responses to SSM & SCOTUS: Mark Your Calendars!

  1. pierrecorneille says:

    Do you have any guesses on how it will turn out? I’m cautiously optimistic, but I haven’t followed the case closely enough to know how the issue is being framed. In particular, I wonder if there’s a chance that if the decision goes the wrong way, it might ensconce anti-marriage equality into our judicial precedents.

  2. James Hanley says:

    All the smart money seems to be betting that it will be a 5-4 decision, with Kennedy being the swing vote, and so of course the briefs are being written to appeal to him. He authored the majority opinions in Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, so there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic. However perhaps marriage will be a step too far for him.

    I’m worried that if SSM wins, there’ll be a vicious backlash. If SSM loses, I think it will only be a temporary loss because the public is moving away from the traditional social conservative position and I can only faintly imagine that being reversed. But of course I want SSM to win. I have mixed feelings, cautious hopes, large doubts, and I’m a worrier.

  3. Matty says:

    The things I’ve read suggest the prop 8 case might lead to some kind of limited victory – either ‘California has to have gay marriage because a right can’t be offered and then withdrawn but no one else is affected’ or ‘if a state offers the legal incidents of marriage it has to offer the name, but no state has to offer either’, which I think was Obama’s stated position.

  4. lancifer666 says:

    Sadly I expect obfuscation and equivocation. Something akin to the mess that became of the affirmative action rulings. OK sometimes….if its for this purpose…only for a limited time…

    At least the waffelistic, chief baby-splitter, Sandra Day O’Connor isn’t there to really muddle the thing up.

  5. Dr X says:

    So will we have a thread to comment on the arguments? I don’t feel well-equipped to comment, but I’d like to hear what others hear have to say.

  6. Dr X says:

    Notice my brilliant, implicit deconstruction of the word here in the comment above? I’m here, I hear, you’re hear, too.

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