As cases challenging state marriage
bans begin to pile up at the Supreme Court, there are signs that the
justices are preparing to review at least one of them.
The first news came Tuesday night from
influential blog SCOTUSBlog.
“Along with the two new filings [from
Wisconsin and Indiana], the Court has awaiting it individual
petitions on the issue from Oklahoma and Utah and three from
Denniston wrote. “In all of the cases, both sides and a
lengthening list of 'friends of the Court' have agreed that the Court
should take on the constitutional controversy now. The Court may
indicate as early as tomorrow which of the seven cases, if any, will
be considered by the Justices at their first Conference of the new
Term, on September 29.”
“The Court has the option of taking
on either or both issues, and it also has the option of putting off
any consideration for the time being, despite the heavy pressure from
virtually everyone involved in the cases, who contend that the Court
should not wait any longer to decide. None of the cases is a
mandatory appeal. It would be highly unusual, however, for the Court
to pass up all of the cases, when everyone is championing review
now,” he added.
Further evidence of movement was found
in a filing from Indiana asking the high court to stay a lower
court's order striking down its ban pending Supreme Court action.
“The case is thus fully submitted to
the [Supreme] Court on Petition for Writ of Certiorari, and Supreme
Court personnel advise that the Petition will be before the Court at
its first conference of the coming October term on September 29,
Dale Carpenter, a gay rights expert at
the University of Minnesota law school, told the AP that he doesn't
“see a lot of reasons for the [justices] to wait.”
“You have almost no one at this point
opposed to certiorari,” he said.
Additional cases are also in the legal
pipeline. Federal appeals courts have already heard arguments in
cases challenging restrictive marriage bans in Hawaii, Nevada, Idaho,
Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.