WEDNESDAY (CBS SF) – Those expecting a landmark ruling on the fate of same-sex marriage from the U.S. Supreme Court will have to wait until at least Thursday after justices failed to release their opinion on the case Monday morning.
There are only two days remaining on the opinions calendar for the justices to make their opinions public on this and other cases heard during the session. That means we should know their final ruling either Thursday or next Monday, the last day to decide the potentially landmark case. Decisions typically come down shortly after 7 a.m. Pacific time. Court watchers are also waiting for a key ruling on legality of subsidies being used in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The justices have been deliberating since April on a federal appeals court ruling in Cincinnati that upheld bans on same-sex unions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, four of the 13 remaining states that allow only heterosexual marriage. That ruling reversed pro-gay rights rulings of federal judges in all four states.
The challenge to the appellate ruling was brought by 32 plaintiffs in six separate lawsuits.
Both sides presented oral arguments before the nine justices on April 25, in a hearing that lasted about 2½ hours. Passionate supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage rallied outside, just steps away from the Supreme Court Plaza, some carrying banners, bullhorns, others in costumes.
Only a few hundred observers were allowed inside to hear oral arguments from lawyers including gay and lesbian marriage advocate Mary Bonauto and former Assistant to the Solicitor General Douglas Hallward-Driemeier representing gay and lesbian plaintiffs. Former Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch argued on behalf of several states on the opposing side, along with U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli representing the federal government.
Opponents argued marriage is a fundamental right regardless of gender, and the 14th Amendment, originally written in to give ‘due process’ and ‘equal protection’ to enslaved African-Americans after the Civil War, also gives gays and lesbians equal marriage rights.
Supporters of the appellate ruling submitted briefs on behalf of dozens of religious groups and Republican lawmakers including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz of Texas. They argued the bans are a matter of states’ rights and were not put in place out of animosity toward gays and lesbians.