The Supreme Court might make the Fifth Circuit oral arguments on same-sex marriage less than pointy.
UPDATED 3:55 p.m. Friday: Those hoping the U.S. Supreme Court was going to finally make a move on gay marriage were heading for a letdown on Friday. The Supremes held their Friday conference but they didn't issue any orders or grant review of any of the five pending cases regarding the state power to ban gay marriage, according to SCOTUSblog.
This wasn't by any means the final word, or lack thereof, on the subject, but the clock is ticking on the question of whether they'll get into the issue during this term. If the Supreme Court is going to agree to look into the issue this term they'll have to grant review of one of the five pending cases before the end of the month to allow for the time to do all the legal legwork and filing required to, you know, have a case heard by the highest court in the nation. The court's next chance to issue an order comes at 9:30 a.m. Monday when they will release a long list of actions on new cases. If none of the gay marriage cases appear before the court then, the cases have most likely been rescheduled for next week's Friday conference, SCOTUSblog reports.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Cecil Bell filed a honey of a bill, House Bill 623, with the Texas Legislature this week. If passed, the bill will amend the Texas Family Code to prevent any taxpayer funds to going toward gay marriage. It will also bar state employees from being paid if they recognize, grant or enforce marriage licenses for gay couples. As if that weren't enough, HB623 would also require Texas courts to dismiss challenges to the law and award lawyer fees to the defendant. Who knows if this or any of the other handful of anti-gay marriage-type laws will actually get through the Lege but it's yet another sign that Texas lawmakers, in typical and exasperating Texas fashion, looked around, saw the way the wind was blowing and immediately started sprinting the opposite direction.
After a long walk down the legal aisle, the U.S. Fifth Court of Appeals is finally hearing oral arguments on cases challenging gay marriage bans in Texas and Louisiana on Friday morning. However, the U.S. Supreme Court is also holding a closed-door meeting today that may well make the whole shindig in New Orleans moot.
The Supreme Court is sitting down to once again consider taking up the matter of same-sex marriage bans. They currently have five cases pending concerning gay marriage bans in Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Louisiana and if the Nine adds any of these cases to its docket for this term the Fifth's case would most likely be put on hold, as the Times-Picayune reported.
In a way, it would make sense to see the final decision end up in the hands of the Supreme Court -- and a lot of the expert-types expect that's going to be what ends up happening ultimately anyway, no matter what the Fifth decides --since the Supremes were the ones who really got the ball rolling on the gay marriage issue with a crucial decision in the case of United States v. Windsor back in 2013.More »