Defendants in 3 marriage cases will seek review from U.S. Supreme Court

This weekend, the defendants in two marriage cases - Oklahoma's Bishop v. Smith and Virginia's Bostic v. Schaefer - indicated that they would seek review from the United States Supreme Court in federal appellate rulings (both of which affirmed district court rulings) in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

In Virginia, the defendant (a county clerk named in the suit) filed a petition to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a stay in the ruling until she files her writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, and in Oklahoma, the state announced on Friday evening that they would be seeking U.S. Supreme Court review. Both sets of defendants - as well as the defendants in a similar marriage case out of Utah - will not be seeking a full en banc review from the appellate courts.

After the petitions in all three cases are filed, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to take up a case, likely before January 2015. If the Court decides to hear one or more marriage cases, oral arguments will be heard in the spring, with a ruling expected by June 2015. 

Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson explained this year the process for the Supreme Court taking up a case. He said:

This process is called "seeking cert." This stage will require another few months of briefing and argument, with one side saying the Supreme Court should hear the case and the other side saying the Court should not hear the case. Then, it's up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it's going to take one of the cases or not. It takes only four of the nine justices to vote to hear a case.

We need to continue sending the message that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry. That's the way we're going to win. We need to help the courts get the country where the country is ready for the courts to get us: on the right side of history, with the freedom to marry for all.

Since last June, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, 35 consecutive rulings have come down in favor of the freedom to marry in state, federal, and federal appellate courts. Marriage litigation is pending in every state without the freedom to marry, and pro-marriage decisions are pending before federal appellate courts in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th Circuits. 

Freedom to Marry's Litigation Resource tracks nearly 80 marriage cases in the courts.