Wednesday, October 17, 2012
With so many same-sex marriage cases that the Supreme Court could take, it is likely that the Court will decide some same-sex marriage issues this term. In particular, the Court will likely determine whether the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional. The cases that will decide this issue are, as I have previously discussed, Windsor v. United States, and Gill v. United States Office of Personnel Management, and one that I have not discussed Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. At issue in these cases is whether DOMA's classification of a marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional. In those cases, the petitioners were denied employees benefits or favorable tax deductions based upon the classification. In addition, the Supreme Court might also here the general issue of whether a state can prohibit same-sex marriage. The Court is set to hear Hollingsworth v. Perry, which is the landmark case that will determine whether Proposition 8 in California is unconstitutional.
The only questions remains as to how the Supreme Court will rule. The Court is primarily split between the originalists on the Court and those who believe that the Court should view the Constitution based upon changing circumstances. However, most eyes are drawn towards the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy, who in the past have either supported same-sex rights or have voted against what many believe to be their partisan views.
See Wendy S. Goffe, Will the Supreme Court Legalize Same-Sex Marriage This Term?, Forbes, Oct. 15, 2012.