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No further action taken on remaining gay rights cases

DOMA trials Prop 8 trial

By Scottie Thomaston

Last Friday the Supreme Court decided it will hear challenges to Prop 8 and Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. It took up the Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor cases, accepting their questions presented to the Court (the legal questions the Court will answer) in full, and adding questions on the legal standing of various parties to the litigation to appear in court.

This morning, more orders were released from the conference in which all the marriage cases and Brewer v. Diaz, a case related to Arizona’s domestic partnership benefits and the governor’s attempt to take them from same-sex couples. More specifically, denials of certiorari were expected today. While the Court denied review in a lot of cases today, they took no further actions on any of the gay rights cases. It now appears that these cases will be held until the two cases they took up on Friday are decided. Then, based on the outcome of those, the Court will send the cases back to the lower courts to decide how to proceed.

A decision on the Prop 8 and DOMA cases is expected in June 2013.

UPDATE 1:00PM ET: Jon Davidson, legal director at Lambda Legal writes:

The Supreme Court on Friday announced that it would review two important cases in the ongoing pursuit of equality for LGBT people. They were two among many petitions before the Court. Because of victories already won by Lambda Legal at the District and Appellate Court levels, lesbian and gay state employees in Arizona will continue to receive health coverage for their families, and Karen Golinski will continue to receive health coverage for her wife, Amy, while the Supreme Court deliberates over the cases it has agreed to review and issues further orders in June.

We are proud that we represent these couples and have won court battles that brought them health care and more security for their families. We are in this fight together, for as long as it takes, to get them and other same-sex couples over the finish line to equality.

6 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Chris from CO  |  December 10, 2012 at 9:53 am

    With regards to the remaining cases am I understaning it right; if they take those cases justice Kegan can not sit on the bench for them?

  • 2. Scottie Thomaston  |  December 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Justice Kagan has indicated that she would be recused from the Gill case if the Court were to take it up. They didn't take it up on Friday or deny it today. She did not participate in the Windsor case in any capacity and the Supreme Court's order on Friday didn't mention any recusals. They would have mentioned her recusal if it had occurred.

    It appears as though the Court is holding the Gill case and the others for the outcome in Windsor so as of now no other DOMA cases will be reviewed and no recusals necessary.

  • 3. Mike in Baltimore  |  December 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    This might be an indication that SCOTUS currently plans on ruling on the standing issue AND the merits of the DoMA cases (and probably even the Prop H8 case). Otherwise, why would they hold the cases, not just deny cert?

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