Conservative commentator George Will
doesn't believe Chief Justice John Roberts will vote for gay
marriage, but added that the Supreme Court would side with advocates
of marriage equality.
House lawyers under the direction of
Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, last week asked
the Supreme Court to review a case challenging the
constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law
which prohibits federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages
of gay and lesbian couples.
A second possible avenue is a case
involving California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8. Supporters
of the law have vowed to take the case to the nation's highest court,
though they have yet to file a request.
Federal appeals courts have struck down
DOMA and Proposition 8, saying they were unconstitutional.
Does Roberts' siding with the court's
more liberal members last week in upholding the Affordable Care Act
translate into a greater likelihood of support for marriage equality,
host George Stephanopoulos asked Will on ABC's This Week.
“There won't be six,” Will said,
but added that Justice Anthony Kennedy's “libertarian dimension”
may cause him to “be the fifth vote for gay marriage.”
Douglas NeJaime, an associate professor
of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, agreed, telling On Top
Magazine that he didn't think “we can draw many insights for
same-sex marriage from Chief Justice Roberts' healthcare decision.”
“The issues, of course, are
completely different, and we don't have much of an indication of
Roberts’ thinking on DOMA and state marriage prohibitions,”
NeJaime said in an e-mail. “If anything, we know that Justice
Kennedy, who joined Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito on the
healthcare issue, has a different view on sexual orientation equality
than those other Justices. He takes to the same-sex marriage
question a different set of commitments, and that distinction will
continue to be important as the Court weighs in on same-sex