The Appeal of Denial: SCOTUS Clears Way for Marriage Equality in at Least 5 States

Photograph by Bill Taroli, via Flickr Creative CommonsThe Supreme Court began reviewing possible cases for the upcoming judicial season just last week, and much of the anticipation was on which marriage equality case would help decide once and for all where this country stands. Turns out, the Supreme Court decided that no case was better than any of the five options waiting for appeals. This immediately expands marriage rights to gay Americans in five states and helps reinforce the decisions made by lower courts for other pending cases. While this surprising news does not directly progress the quest for national marriage equality, it's a positive step. The justices could decide to hear other cases that may address the issue more wholly.

Here are some new clippings from this morning's announcement:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Breaking News E-mail

Gay marriages to resume as Supreme Court rejects appeals

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away appeals from Wisconsin and four other states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages, paving the way for an immediate expansion of gay and lesbian unions.

NY Times Breaking News E-mail

Supreme Court Clears Way for Gay Marriage in 5 States

The Supreme Court on Monday denied review in all five pending same-sex marriage cases, clearing the way for such marriages to proceed in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The move was a major surprise and suggests that the justices are not going to intercede in the wave of decisions in favor of same-sex marriage at least until a federal appeals court upholds a state ban.


This just got upended


This morning the Court issued additional orders from its September 29 Conference.   Most notably, the Court denied review of all seven of the petitions arising from challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage.  This means that the lower-court decisions striking down bans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia should go into effect shortly, clearing the way for same-sex marriages in those states and any other state with similar bans in those circuits.

Over 30 states are affected by those circuits.

From Equality on Trial: Supreme Court declines to decide marriage equality issue at this time, denying all seven petitions

Today's list includes denials of review in several cases, including the seven marriage petitions. The appeals court decisions will remain binding in those circuits. There were two cases from the Tenth Circuit (from Oklahoma and Utah), two from the Seventh Circuit (Indiana and Wisconsin), and three from the Fourth Circuit (all three from the Virginia case.) Meanwhile, several states within those circuits have similar same-sex marriage bans. The final appeals court decisions striking these bans will be binding precedent in cases challenging the bans from those other states.

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