On March 26th, the court will hear arguments relating to Proposition 8, the California ban on same sex marriage, in Hollingsworth v. Perry. The next day the court will hear arguments in United States v. Windsor, relating to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which establishes a marriage as between a man and a woman. In each case, the Supreme Court will hear at least an hour’s worth of arguments and can extend the length of the hearings if deemed necessary. The Court is anticipated to issue a ruling in each case by the end of June.
Hollingsworth v. Perrychallenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8 under the 14th Amendment, which requires states to provide equal protection to all people. United States v. Windsor, will consider the constitutionality of DOMA as it relates to fifth amendment guarantees of equal protection. The decisions of these cases could impact same sex marriage bans in 31 states.
Media Resources: AFP 1/8/2013; CBS 1/7/2013; Reuters 1/7/2013; SF Gate 1/7/2013; Feminist Newswire 12/7/2012