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Supreme Court Grants Review in Same-Sex Marriages Cases

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 2:15 PM

The United States Supreme Court Grants Review in Same-Sex Marriages Cases. 

On Friday, 1/16/2015, the United States Supreme Court granted review in four cases stemming from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision upholding bans on marriages between same-sex couples in the states of Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. Prior to the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, same-sex marriage bans had been found unconstitutional by the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal. A decision is pending in the Fifth Circuit, with oral arguments heard on 1/9/2015 in cases originating in Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana. To date, the Sixth Circuit is the only federal Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a marriage ban since the United States Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in United States v. Windsor.


CASES UNDER REVIEW: The cases under review are: Obergefell v. Hodges (Ohio), Tanco v. Haslam (Tennessee), DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan), and Bourke v. Beshear (Kentucky).

SCOPE OF REVIEW: The Supreme Court limited its grant of review to two specific questions:

(1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

(2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Scheduling: Petitioners’ briefs are due on February 27, 2015; Respondents’ briefs are due on March 27, 2015; and Petitioners’ reply briefs are due on April 17, 2015.


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