At the end of Tuesday’s oral arguments it wasn’t clear whether Justice Kennedy would side completely with marriage equality advocates.
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.
A federal appeals court decision is set to take effect this week, unless the Roberts Court grants an emergency request by attorneys for Virginia to stay that decision striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The ruling, while limited, is the first loss for marriage equality advocates since the Supreme Court’s historic ruling last year in U.S. v. Windsor.
So far two states, Utah and Oklahoma, have filed petitions asking the Roberts Court to uphold their respective state bans on marriage equality. Elsewhere, attorneys for the State of Virginia filed their petition for review with the Roberts Court on Friday.