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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Friday, June 26, 2015

Marriage Equality Decision Expected Today @ SCOTUS

Legal Scholar Lyle Denniston
Batman will probably show-up again; Spiderman has been crawling the marble steps seeking attention; and various flag-waving, placard-touting groups in support of and opposed to marriage equality have been a fixture along First Street in Washington D.C. over the past several weeks. As June evaporates, the Supreme Court's final day for this session, Monday, fast approaches.

There is a rare sense of growing anticipation surrounding the Supreme Court building as the Court gets ready to announce its last few decisions of the term.  Of all the cases argued before the SCOTUS this term, only 5 remain undecided, including the DeBoer same-sex marriage and adoption consolidated cases.

We here at the Law Blogger think the High Court will issue the decision this morning when their penultimate session begins at 10:00 am.

Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSBlog no doubt already has his analysis at the ready; he's probably just waiting for an opinion to read before posting to his well-read blog. The two issues the Court will likely resolve today in deciding the DeBoer case are: whether states have power to ban same-sex marriages; and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

Currently, marriage equality is the law in 36 states. All of the state laws banning same-sex marriage in the remaining 14 states are under constitutional challenge.

When the SCOTUS began its term in October, it did not elect to review any of the then-pending same-sex marriage cases that had percolated through the federal courts of appeal. Then the Sixth Circuit reversed U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's opinion and order striking down Michigan's state laws banning same-sex adoptions and marriages.

In upholding the state law bans, the Sixth Circuit bucked a national trend among the federal appellate circuits which had until then uniformly ruled in favor of recognizing marriage equality. So the SCOTUS granted certiorari and today is the moment of truth on this constitutional issue.

Once the Court issues its decision, we will review and distill the opinion and provide our readers with our take on this important civil rights issue.

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