Supreme Court Declines Prop 8, DOMA Cases For Now

Jim Burroway

September 25th, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its Orders List (PDF: 136KB/10 pages) following yesterday’s conference session in which it was scheduled to consider whether to hear four LGBT-related cases. Today’s Order list indicates that the Supreme Court has agreed to accept six pending case, but the appeal of Hollingsworth v. Perry — the new name for Perry v. Brown, which itself was previously Perry v. Schwarzenegger, challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 — was not on the list.

It’s not clear yet though that this means that the Prop 8 case was rejected by the court. We won’t learn that until next Monday, when the Supreme Court will issue a list of cases it has decided not to hear this term. If Hollingsworth v. Perry is on that list, then the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional will stand and California’s same-sex couples will have their marriage rights restored. But if Hollingsworth v. Perry is not on that list, then it means that the Supreme Court is still weighing whether to accept the case. It takes four justices to agree on hearing a case before it is accepted by the court.

The court also held off accepting the appeal of Windsor v. USA, which challenges the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. This case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behal of Edie Windsor, who is required to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes following the death of her legally-wedded wife in 2007. If she had been in an opposite-sex marriage, her estate tax bill would have been zero. Four other DOMA challenges are making their way through the Appeals courts, and the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to hear three of those cases along with Windsor for a more comprehensive look at DOMA’s constitutionality.

The court has also, so far, declined to accept two other LGBT-related cases. In Diaz v. Brewer, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Arizona’s Republican Gov. Jan Brewer cannot withdraw domestic parner benefits from state employees without violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. And in National Organization for Marriage v. McKee, NOM is again trying to get the Supreme Court’s attention in its efforts to circumvent Maine’s finance disclosure laws. The Supreme Court refused to hear an earlier challenge from NOM in February.

tristram

September 25th, 2012

I was going to play Mr. Spelchek on your title. But maybe “Delclines” is in honor of Del Martin?

Jim Burroway

September 25th, 2012

You know what really sucks is that I can run spellcheck all day long — although as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I don’t always remember to do so, but I could! — and it would never flag spelling errors in the most visible field on the blog: the title. Spellcheck only works for the post’s body.

tristram

September 25th, 2012

And it doesn’t catch the proper names and the homonyms and a lot of other little glitches. So it lets me feel useful – and somewhat petty.

Anyway – thanks for the explanation. I think the SC will try to defer any critical equality decisions until after Nov. 6.

Alicia

September 25th, 2012

This article explains a lot:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-taro-gold/the-not-so-secret-angry-old-white-man-agenda_b_1910104.html

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