On Friday we learned that the United State Supreme Court will hear two cases involving same-sex marriage. The first deals with California’s Proposition 8 vote that added an amendment to the California constitution that protected the definition of marriage to be between one man and one woman. A federal district judge struck down that constitutional amendment. A decision that was later affirmed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The second case comes out of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional as it denies homosexual federal employees who are legally married in states that allow same-sex marriages the same health and pension benefits allotted to heterosexual married federal employees.
I don’t predict a watershed decision for either side. I do not suspect that either side will same-sex marriage approved or shot down at the national level. I suspect we’ll see status quo and for the Court to allow the decision to be decided by the states.
It will likely be a mixed bag for both sides. I suspect that the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the lower court and 9th Circuit Court decision to overturn Proposition 8. I would suspect that decision will be based on 10th Amendment grounds. It’s a good sign that the court decided to hear the case. They could have denied a hearing and let the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision stand.
The hubris in the reversal in overturning a state constitutional amendment voted by the people of California may drive the Supreme Court to intervene. This decision likely won’t provide any guidance on whether other states should or shouldn’t allow same-sex marriage, just that the Federal courts shouldn’t overturn what has been decided by the people of the state to be included in their constitution.
That said I would not be surprised to see the Supreme Court uphold the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision to declare the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act denying benefits for legally married homosexual couples – for the same reason – the Federal government should not interfere in a state’s decision.
I could be completely wrong, but that’s what I think will happen when they release their rulings in June.