Same-Sex Marriage

Has any Supreme Court denial been as big and as suprising as the Court not taking the same-sex marriage case?

For the six reasons Lyle Denniston describes on SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court’s announcement on Monday that it would not hear any of the seven petitions striking down same-sex marriage bans was stunning.  Even though there was no circuit split, conventional wisdom indicated the Court would decide the issue because...

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Since his state began to allow same-sex marriage earlier this year, Sen. Scott Dibble has been officiating weddings himself, including for Kansas and Wisconsin couples who traveled to Minnesota for the express purpose of getting married. Five years ago, it was Dibble who did the traveling — to California, so that he could marry his partner under that state’s marriage-equality law. But same-sex marriage has since come to the Midwest, first in Iowa due to a state Supreme Court ruling and now this year as the result of legislative actions in Minnesota and Illinois.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s October Term 2012 includes a number of significant cases affecting the states including two same-sex marriage cases, a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and a claim that the National Voting Registration Act preempts Arizona’s evidence-of-citizenship requirement to register to vote.
 

Stateline Midwest ~ April 2013

Within a few months, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases involving the volatile issue of same-sex marriage. In the meantime, two Midwestern states are being watched closely for the possibility of legislative action before a decision by the court.

In the November 2010 retention elections in Iowa, out-of-state special interest groups funded a vigorous campaign to oust three justices of the Iowa Supreme Court who had joined in the court’s unanimous decision declaring Iowa’s defense of marriage act a violation of the equality clause of the Iowa Constitution. The avowed purpose of these groups was to send a message across the country that judges ignore the will of the people at their peril. Intimidation of judges and retaliation against judges who make politically unpopular decisions undermine our Founding Fathers’ vision of a society governed by the rule of law. “Judicial independence is the vital mechanism that empowers judges to make decisions that may be unpopular but nonetheless correct. ... And it gives life to the promise that the Rule of Law safeguards the minority from the tyranny of the majority.”1

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