US Supreme Court (Sort of) Decides on Same Sex Marriage
Jesse Bachir, Durham University
Following last year’s decision in Windsor, same-sex couples and LGBT advocacy groups across the United States have been filing suits against State governments challenging the Constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.
So far, almost every Court (with one exception) in the United States has found marriage bans to be unconstitutional either under Federal Constitutional law or State Constitutional law. Most recently, earlier this month, the Supreme Court denied a petition to review 7 cases from lower Federal Courts on the constitutionality of marriage bans. In denying review of the cases, the decisions of the lower courts stood (all of which found the bans unconstitutional), and the stays of execution issued by the lower courts were removed. That brings the total to 32 States with equal marriage.
The Supreme Court effectively, though indirectly, decided the issue for the rest of the country – in allowing the lower court decisions to stand, clear judicial precedent has been made. The lower courts in all 7 of the denied review cases found the marriage bans to be unconstitutional for the same reasons. In denying review, the Supreme Court implicitly agreed with the rulings of the lower courts and avoided wading into the politically charged topic.