How Amendment One might die in 2013

After historic victories in the 2012 elections in which marriage equality won and discrimination lost in 4 states and the first openly gay candidate was elected to the US Senate, the US Supreme Court now poised to weigh in on the issue. The Marriage News Watch video below looks at the history of marriage-related rulings by SCOTUS.

They could decide as early as next week whether or not to take up cases challenging DOMA and challenging marriage discrimination. If they opt not to, then marriage equality could resume in California in short order. That, combined with the recent election results, could move a significant percentage of the country's population into areas with marriage equality.

From what I've read, I expect we'll hear some news about which cases the Supreme Court is taking up by Monday, and the results of those cases could be decided as early as June of 2013. There are a lot of moving pieces and uncertainty around these decisions, but there exists the possibility that amendment 1 could pass away shortly after it's first birthday.

With the US Supreme Court potentially undoing all the wasted effort and money passing amendment 1, it makes you wonder, whatever happened to all those limited government, freedom loving, pro-job conservatives that we heard about so much on the campaign trail? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that the LGBT community is more organized in NC than ever, but all this goes to show that amendment 1 was an anti-liberty waste of public money that could soon be thrown out.


Promising cases

In addition to its facts, Windsor also adds a new dimension to the DOMA jurisprudential landscape. Among the ten federal court rulings to invalidate DOMA thus far, Windsor is the first where a circuit court applied heightened scrutiny to the statute’s sexual orientation-based classification.

From NC Policy Watch

Here's a clip from an e-mail I just got from them:

Amendment One and Done?

By Sharon McCloskey

In May, North Carolina voters easily approved an amendment banning same-sex marriage, but the fate of that amendment may now rest on decisions coming down from the nation’s highest court as early as next week.

On Friday, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will take a look at several same-sex marriage cases pending for review there and decide which, if any, it will hear this term. Though the cases arose in other states, each involves a provision that, like North Carolina’s amendment, defines and recognizes marriage as only between a man and a woman. Depending upon which cases it takes and how broadly the justices rule, the Court may decide the constitutionality of that provision.

The suspense is building in California

"San Francisco Asks Court For “Advance Notice” On New Weddings"

Should the Supreme Court decide on Friday that it is not going to consider an appeal of the challenge to California's Proposition 8, the City of San Francisco is asking for "24 hours advance notice" before an appeals court takes the final step to allow same-sex couples there to marry.

Citing an "immediate and substantial demand from same-sex couples for marriage licenses and ceremonies," the county clerk in Los Angeles filed a letter with the Ninth Circuit on Thursday stating that he joins in San Francisco's request.

I seem to recall reading that although some of these decisions could be made tomorrow, it's likely Monday before the public will know. If these California cities have any luck getting answer sooner though, maybe we'll all find out sooner?

That, combined with the recent election results, could move a significant percentage of the country's population into areas with marriage equality.

Following up on an earlier statement, I read a comment on JMG where someone said they figure that would be more than a quarter of the country's population in marriage equality states. I haven't done that math, but it sounds reasonable with so much of the country's population on the coasts.

Next week

As I mentioned before, it looks like Monday is still the earliest we're likely to hear anything, but it could be a full week before we know more. On the one hand I'm anxious to hear what cases they'll take up, but on the other hand in the context of cases that are several years old, another week doesn't seem that long.

Maryland Attorney General Gansler and Governor O’Malley are indicating that marriage equality will begin there on Jan 1st. So it is nice to have a date certain on that.

Next important day: Monday, December 3rd. There is one advantage: the orders list comes out at a set time -- 9:30 a.m.