The Roberts Court surprised many on Thursday by upholding an important provision of the Fair Housing Act, with Justice Anthony Kennedy emerging as an important voice for civil rights jurisprudence.
At the end of Tuesday’s oral arguments it wasn’t clear whether Justice Kennedy would side completely with marriage equality advocates.
Anticipating a loss this summer before the Roberts Court in the marriage equality cases, conservatives are now leaning on the precedent set by Hobby Lobby and McCullen v. Coakley.
The order, released Friday, agrees to hear challenges from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
The decision is the first from a federal appeals court to rule in support of state same-sex marriage bans since the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.
Tuesday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck two more state-level same-sex marriage bans, setting the stage for marriage equality in at least 35 states.
Monday’s Supreme Court order denying review of seven same-sex marriage cases may not be as emotionally satisfying as a pro-equality ruling, but it has a similar effect nonetheless.
The decision conflicts with an earlier federal court ruling declaring Louisiana’s ban constitutional.
On Wednesday, a federal court in Louisiana became the first to rule against marriage equality since Windsor. Is the decision an outlier or a sign of trouble ahead at the Supreme Court?
The one-page order almost guarantees the Supreme Court takes up the question of marriage equality next term.