Supreme Court sets dates: March 26-27

The U.S. Supreme Court today (January 7) scheduled the dates for oral arguments in the two high-profile marriage equality cases before it this session. The Proposition 8 case will be heard on March 26; the Defense of Marriage Act case will be heard March 27.

No other cases are scheduled for argument on those two days and reports that may enable the court to take more than the scheduled one hour for the cases, if necessary.

The Proposition 8 case is an appeal brought by Yes on 8 supporters of the California ban on marriage equality for same-sex couples. Yes on 8 is challenging a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal ruling that the ban was unconstitutional. In Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Supreme Court has ordered that attorneys for both sides argue the question, “Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) has appealed U.S. v. Windsor, a lawsuit that the ACLU won in the federal district court for Manhattan and the Second Circuit. Those rulings found that DOMA violates the equal protection clause.

The Supreme Court has asked attorneys in both cases to argue issues concerning the legal standing of the appealing party. In Proposition 8, the issue arose whether the Yes on 8 political group could file an appeal after elected officials of the State of California chose not to press an appeal of the federal district court decision.

In the DOMA case, the high court asks whether BLAG has proper standing to appeal, given that the executive branch of government chose not to appeal the Second Circuit decision. It also asks whether the Supreme Court itself has jurisdiction, given that the executive branch agrees with the court below.

Leave a Reply