Supreme Court Will Rule On Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Dean Chambers

The Supreme Court decided last Friday to take up the issue of same-sex marriage again, the Los Angeles Times reported today. Two years ago, the Supreme Court took up the issue and ruled that parts of the Defense of Marriage Act were unconstitutional.

That 2013 Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor was described by the Times as "endorsing a two-track approach: one that provided full rights for legally married gay couples while preserving a state's right to decide on the definition of marriage."

While some legal experts view that case as instance of a narrow ruling by the Supreme Court which fails to sufficiently settle the issue, the Supreme Court perhaps agrees, as demonstrated by its decision to take the same-sex marriage issue on again. Perhaps the Supreme Court will hand down a more decisive ruling in this current session.

"Now, after the justices agreed Friday to take up the issue again, Kennedy and the other justices must reconcile what they left unresolved two years ago. Is marriage for gays and lesbians a matter of equal rights and individual liberty guaranteed by the Constitution? Or is it a matter left to the states?," the Times reports on the Supreme Court decision to revisit the same-sex marriage issue.

The Week magazine reported on the Supreme Court taking on the same-sex marriage issue, and also offered a prediction on how each member of the Supreme Court will rule on the case.

"After dodging the issue in 2013, the Supreme Court on Friday signaled that it will finally decide whether bans on same-sex marriage violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, accepting appeals to four lower court rulings that struck down such bans as unconstitutional," the Week reported on the Supreme Court decision to reconsider same-sex marriage.

Of the members viewed as more conservative on the Supreme Court, the Week predicts that Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito will rule against same-sex marriage when the Supreme Court decides the four cases before them. The Week predicts that the four Supreme Court justices appointed by Democratic presidents, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan will vote in favor of legalized same-sex marriage when the full Supreme Court decides. The Week calls Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy "the Swing Vote," while labeling the Supreme Court's Chief Justice, John Roberts, as "the Wild Card."

The Week suggests that Justice Kennedy is more likely to side with the four more liberal members, while Chief Justice Roberts, who only sided with them on the ObamaCare ruling, is more likely to side with the three more conservative members of the Supreme Court. This would suggest a prediction of a five-to-four Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage if the votes of the nine members of the Supreme Court go that way.

The Justice Department has weighed in and is urging the court to rule for same-sex marriage, the Inquisitr reported yesterday. Attorney General Eric Holder announced he will be filing a brief with the Supreme Court to rule that same-sex marriage is a legally protected Constitutional right of all Americans.

Last year, the Supreme Court denied hearing same-sex marriage cases from five state, which left same-sex marriage legal in as many as 35 states. This was seen as the Supreme Court recognizing the issue as decide, but this year that will be revisited legally as the Supreme Court hears the issue again.

[Image of same-sex marriage supporter in front of the Supreme Court from the Los Angeles Times]