Tuesday April 28th, exactly three weeks from now, SCOTUS will hear cases regarding same sex marriage and states in Obergefell v. Hodges which asks two 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?
On Friday, SCOTUS confirmed that on that day, it will hear from five lawyers and will hear ninety minutes on the power of states to refuse such marriage and one hour on the power of states to refuse to recognize existing marriages. The Court does not want multiple lawyers on a single question, other than a separate appearance by the federal government. The only division of the arguments will come on the first question, when the supporters of same-sex marriage will share fifteen of their forty-five minutes with the U.S. Solicitor General.
The list of lawyers representing and questions addressed are as follows:
1) Long-time gay rights advocate Mary L. Bonauto will argue the first question: whether the states are required to grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.
2) An experienced Washington, D.C., advocate, Douglas-Hallward-Driemeier, will handle the second question: can states be required to recognize existing same-sex marriages performed in other states for residents of a state that bans such unions?
3) The states defending their bans on same-sex marriage or recognition will be represented by former Michigan Solicitor General John J. Bursch arguing the marriage question and an associate solicitor general for Tennessee, Joseph L. Whalen, on the recognition issue.
The Supreme Court’s decision will be announced in May or June. Stay tuned as the future of gay rights hangs in the balance!
To follow it live on April 28, go to www.scotusblog.com where they will live blog the arguments and justices’ questions.