U.S. Supreme Court sets date to decide whether it will take DOMA and Prop 8 cases

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will consider whether or not it will review federal constitutional challenges to two marriage cases - the Proposition 8 case in California and one or more of the challenges facing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act - at its private conference on Tuesday, November 20. 

According to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the Court will deliberate about Perry v. Brown, the case challenging Proposition 8, the ballot measure passed in California in 2008 to take away the freedom to marry for loving and committed couples in the state. Prop 8 has already been ruled unconstitutional by CA District Judge Walker, and that ruling has been upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If the U.S. Supreme Court declines to grant review to the Prop 8 case, the appeals court's ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional will stand, and same-sex couples in California will once again be allowed to marry in the state. If the Court does grant review to the case, the legal team from AFER will submit written arguments and present oral arguments before April 2013, and a final decision would be expected from the Supreme Court in June 2013. 

The Supreme Court will also be reviewing the five challenges to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that prohibits federal respect of lawful marriages between same-sex couples. Requests for certiorari have been filed in five of the DOMA challenges, meaning that institutions or individuals have requested that the U.S. Supreme Court review one or more of the DOMA cases. The cases are: the consolidated Gill v. O.P.M. and Massachusetts v. Dept of HHS challenge, Windsor v. United States, Golinski v. O.P.M., and Pedersen v. O.P.M. The Massachusetts and Windsor cases have both already been ruled unconstitutional by appeals courts. 

The Court will likely not announce whether it has granted or declined review in all of the cases until Monday, November 26, although this date is subject to change. 

To read more about the Defense of Marriage Act, click HERE. You can also read about all of the DOMA Legal Challenges HERE, and find out more about state legal challenges, including the Prop 8 case