On Friday the Supreme Court decided it will take up two cases connected to state and federal recognition of gay marriage. Though ultimately the cases may be decided on technicalities over who has standing to represent the dueling interests, Scott Shackford wrote an analysis for USA Today about what the two cases actually mean:

The case selected, Windsor v. United States, is about a woman unable to claim an estate tax deduction following the death of her female partner, with whom she was considered legally married in the State of New York. Technically the case could be reviewed without tackling the thorny issue of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to demand government recognition of their marriages.

Shackford takes note that even if the Supreme Court rules that ultimately states or the federal government can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages, it doesn’t stop the gains already made in November’s election in several states. (Hooray for federalism!)

Read the whole piece here.