Gay Marriage

SCOTUS Holds Its Fire on Gay Marriage—For Now


Credit: Phil Roeder / / CC BY

Last Friday the U.S. Supreme Court met in private conference where it considered, among other things, multiple petitions for review arising out of the November 2014 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit which upheld gay marriage bans in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Illinois. That ruling, issued by conservative Judge Jeffrey Sutton, was the first instance of a federal appellate court affirming a state prohibition on same-sex unions in recent years. Because Judge Sutton thereby created a split among the federal circuits on the issue of gay marriage's constitutionality, his decision is expected to trigger Supreme Court review.

Today, the Supreme Court released the results of Friday's private conference and revealed that it was taking no action on the 6th Circuit petitions. That means the issue of gay marriage will likely be debated again by the justices at their next private conference, currently scheduled for this Friday.

The upshot is that the Supreme Court is currently holding its fire on gay marriage—but perhaps only for another week.

Related: Citing Judicial Deference to Legislators, Federal Judge Upholds Obamacare in 2011, Gay Marriage Bans in 2014