November 7th, 2014
There is a serious push for the Superior Court to again consider the constitutionality of same-sex marriage after a federal appeals court upheld bans in four states on Thursday.
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati ruled 2 to 1, overturning lower-court decisions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The 6th Circuit is the first appellate court to uphold state bans since the Supreme Court blocked part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.
Attorneys for plaintiffs in the 6th Circuit appellate case say they plan to ask the Supreme Court to hear their arguments.
In September, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated a lack of disagreement in the appeals courts made Supreme Court review of same-sex marriage unneeded. She stated “there will be some urgency” if the 6th Circuit supported a ban on the issue.
Roughly one month ago, the Supreme Court rejected appeals from five states requesting to maintain same-sex marriage bans.
Thursday’s ruling from the 6th Circuit states that the changing the legal definition of marriage should be decided by democratic process, not by judicial procedure.
“Surely the people should receive some deference in deciding when the time is ripe to move from one picture of marriage to another,” wrote Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton.
The opposing judge, Martha Craig Daugherty, proposed Sutton and Judge Deborah Cook may have intending on urging the issue up to the Supreme Court.
“Because the correct result is so obvious, one is tempted to speculate that the majority has purposefully taken the contrary position to create the circuit split,” Daugherty wrote.
The Supreme Court has to decide by mid-January whether it will hear the case in time to make a ruling by June. If the court declines to take up the issue, the case will be pushed to the following terms and most likely will not be ruled upon until June 2016.
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