Washington, D.C. –The Supreme Court will not be taking action on the 10 same-sex marriage cases it has been considering for the coming term.
According to SCOTUSBlog:
“The Supreme Court, after taking most of the day to prepare new orders, took no action Friday on the ten same-sex marriage cases now on the docket. It did agree to rule on whether taking a human gene out of the body is a process that can be patented. It also agreed to rule on legal protection for makers of generic drugs.”
The Supreme Court was originally going to decide whether it would take up three landmark cases in a decision that would have furthered gay marriage rights. The petitions up for debate were: Proposition 8, the 2008 Calfornia ballot measure that prohibited same-sex marriage; the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman; and Diaz vs. Brewer, the Arizona injunction prohibiting same-sex couples from receiving domestic partner benefits.
DOMA was submitted to the Court by five separate challenges, and in each case, a decision not to hear the cases will do more than deciding to hear them.
If the Court doesn’t make a decision to hear the Prop 8 case, it will make gay marriage in California legal immediately. A California appeals court struck down the voter-passed law in 2010.
Non-action on DOMA would mean that same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal will be treated the same as heterosexual married couple under federal law.
Otherwise, the Supreme Court would have to rule on the constitutionality of Section 3, which defines marriage as “one man and one woman.”
If the Court decides not to hear Diaz vs. Brewer, unmarried same sex partners of state employees will be able to continue receiving domestic partner health insurance benefits.
The next opportunity the Court will have to issue orders will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday.