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Supreme Court set to consider taking gay marriage, other hot-button cases

Supreme Court set to consider taking gay marriage, other hot-button cases

Results of Monday’s court conference may shed light on how many contentious issues will be considered this term.

The Supreme Court will sit for their first long conference of the October session on Monday, and SCOTUS watchers are anxious to find out whether or not the Court will decide to wade once more into the murky waters of the marriage equality battle.

There are seven gay marriage cases set to be discussed during the Monday conference, and each of them offers a slightly different variation on the argument that has been raging since before this writer even began to think about the possibility of attending law school.

Via U.S. News and World Report:

The Supreme Court will not only be considering the matter of timing. What case or cases it ultimately hears will help determine the scope of its eventual ruling, both as it pertains to marriage itself – will its ruling apply to the ability of gay couples to get married in all states or just whether states have to recognize the same-sex marriages of other states – and the decision’s implications outside the issues of marriage.

“The court is going to have to decide how much it is going to put on its plate,” said Gregory Garre, a former U.S. solicitor general and now the chairman of the Supreme Court and Appellate practice at Latham & Watkins, at a panel sponsored by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

Bans in Utah and Oklahoma, both overturned in separate decisions by the 10th Circuit, were decided on the basis of due process, meaning that denying gay couples the ability to wed deprives them of their fundamental right to marry. The 7th Circuit decision finding Indiana’s and Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional did so on the grounds of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, with the unanimous panel arguing that same-sex marriage bans discriminate against one’s sexual orientation. If the Supreme Court decides on a case that invokes the equal protection clause, how it interprets the 14th Amendment could affect judicial rulings on other questions of LGBT rights and discrimination.

Those on both sides of the argument say they can win on either grounds.

Walker v. Wolf, which has come up for review out of the Seventh Circuit, is on its face the broadest of the seven cases the Court has the option to consider, but as Garre points out, the Court may not be ready to issue a sweeping ruling so soon after the fall of DOMA. The Circuits and other lower courts have offered consistently inconsistent rulings, and the Court may do well to allow more cases to work their way through the system before they decide one and for all whether or not states have the right to decide who is free to marry within their borders.

Also up for consideration during Monday’s conference is Carroll v. Carman, which will deal not only with “knock and talk” procedures for police officers, but the touchy issues surrounding qualified immunity for officers who toe the line between a constitutional entry and an unconstitutional search; EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch Stores, which asks whether or not an employer can make hiring and firing decisions based on the religious observances of the employee; and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, which asks whether or not disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.

We’ll be following this session of the Supreme Court closely; even if the Court takes up only a fraction of the most controversial cases up for review, this session is sure to get pretty wild.


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This is not about homosexual marriage, or at least it shouldn’t be. This is about equal protection. The normalization of homosexual behavior creates moral hazards through selective (i.e. unprincipled) exclusion. If the Supreme Court decides to address this issue, then they should not permit the advocates and activists for normalizing homosexual behavior to set the agenda. They should not shift the burden of reconciling and coping with selective exclusion to future generations.

    jhkrischel in reply to n.n. | September 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    High intelligence is not normal. Extreme physical talent is not normal. Tall people are not normal. Short people are not normal.

    Nobody wants to “normalize” homosexual behavior – homosexuals have always been approximately 5-10% of any population group, and nobody is trying to get 51% of people to be gay. Normal is not the issue here.

    What we’re looking for is an acceptance, and even a promotion, of the idea of committed monogamous relationships between consenting adults, regardless of sexual orientation. One may argue that our current marriage laws do not always reach the lofty goal of committed relationships, or even monogamous relationships, but frankly, that’s what they should be.

    Promoting monogamy and commitment to homosexuals is a conservative ideal. Promiscuity and irresponsibility is a liberal ideal.

      Ragspierre in reply to jhkrischel. | September 27, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      Consummate bullshit.

      There is nothing “conservative” about the false moral equivalence of “gay marriage” with real marriage.

      This is simply a lie.

      And if homosexuals find utility in monogamy, I can (and have) set them up with all the civil law advantages of married couples EXCEPT for the Federal tax code.

      There is NOTHING in law or culture that forbids a committed couple from living a monogamous life, AND publishing that to the world in a rite of passage.

      It still isn’t a marriage. Because it can’t be.

      nordic_prince in reply to jhkrischel. | September 28, 2014 at 1:39 am

      5 – 10%? Kinsey’s “research” was discredited years ago. The actual percentage is 2 – 3% at most, and that’s being generous.

Betcha we have a ruling that says all states must recognize gay marriages from any other state before we have a ruling that requires all states to recognize concealed carry permits from any other state.

That’s probably because the gun one was only the second amendment while the one about gay marriage was, well, was…. was….. was…??

    Eastwood Ravine in reply to Anchovy. | September 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    You’re probably correct. However, recognizing gay marriage isn’t about advancing liberty and freedom. It’s about destroying the 1st Amendment; American’s right to express religious values and the right to disagree without reprisal.

      Just because the state recognizes marriages between Catholics and Jews, or marriages between races, or marriages between ugly people and beautiful people, doesn’t impinge upon your first amendment rights to disagree with those marriages.

      The constitutional amendment you’re looking for, by the way, is the 14th.

        HarrietHT in reply to jhkrischel. | September 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm

        The Constitutional Amendment he referred to is indeed the First: freedom of religion. The Christian faith, except for heretics within the church, acknowledge that homosexuality, like gossip, murder, and theft, among many others, is a sin.
        If radical homosexual activists get their way, the church will be persecuted for stating this TRUTH.
        But I’m sure you have no problem with that.

Privacy, or so they claim. For example, “Roe vs Wade” was actually decided as a faith-based issue. Specifically, that human life is conceived at an arbitrary moment (a la “Big Bang”) from conception to some time around birth. The selective normalization of the LGBT psychopathy was rationalized with a similar act of legerdemain, motivated by political, monetary, and leverage considerations.

Nope, sorry. The 14th Amendment gives you no license to corrupt terms or the culture.

Jonah Goldberg wrote a very interesting piece (you’ll need to look it up…I don’t pour information on demand) on “reconciling the names”, which he claimed goes back to a Confucius idea about the power of language.

There can be no such thing as “gay marriage”. Just like there can be no such thing as a “atheist chaplain”. The composite term destroys the meaning of the root term, as it is indeed intended to do.

Now, certainly there can be an “atheist counselor” or a “gay civil union”. And those are supported by a lot of us. But that does not get the militants where they long to be. They DEMAND that society call them “normal” and not just tolerated, but approved of…by law.

I would still like to hear of one logical reason to differentiate between homosexuality and incest. For fun, let’s assume Mom is too old to have more kids. In any case, anyone want to claim there are no health issues associated with homosexuality?

I think it’s simply that the “ick” factor still applies to incest but was recently removed from homosexuality. Is that what our laws are based on?