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SCOTUS weighs marriage equality cases

by AirTalk®

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Bob Sodervick waves a gay pride flag outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After sweeping victories for marriage equality in the November 2012 election, the Supreme Court is deciding today whether to take up a case that could be a landmark decision for LGBTQ rights.

The court will discuss the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition to same-sex marriages, and a possible review of California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in the state. Massachusetts and New York, both states that recognize same-sex marriage, struck down DOMA; Prop 8 was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

These state-level wins are significant, but a Supreme Court decision on either case would have a much broader impact on marriage equality nationwide. Is now the right time for a federal decision on marriage equality? How should the Supreme Court handle the cases? What will the impact of the court’s decision be? If the Supreme Court does not take up the Prop 8 appeal, will same-sex marriage be instantly legalized in California?


John Eastman, Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and former Dean at Chapman University School of Law; chairman of the National Organization for Marriage

Vikram Amar, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law

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