Monday round-up

By on Jun 29, 2015 at 7:43 am

Court-related coverage and commentary are dominated by Friday’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and the recognition thereof.  Andrew Hamm rounded up early coverage of the decision for this blog; other coverage comes from NPR’s Nina Totenberg for All Things Considered, who also had a story with Mara Liasson and a video; from Steven Mazie at The Economist’s Democracy in America Blog; from Chantal Valery and Robert Macpherson for Agence France-Presse (via Yahoo! News); and from Michael Bobelian of Forbes. Still more coverage comes from Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle, who in The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required) report that the decision  “was a major leap, but not the final legal step in ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.”     Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up

This week at the Court

By on Jun 28, 2015 at 12:01 am

On Monday the Court granted five new cases, which Lyle reported on, and issued decisions in the last cases of the Term: Michigan v. EPAAZ Legislature v. AZ Independent Redistricting Commission, and Glossip v. Gross.

On Tuesday the Court granted an additional five cases, which Lyle reported on here and here.


Michael C. Dorf is the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University. He blogs at

In the nature of split decisions, the majority opinion makes an affirmative argument and the dissent criticizes that argument, with the majority responding, if at all, in footnotes and other asides. That pattern holds in Obergefell v. Hodges. In sometimes-soaring language, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion barely addresses the pointed and occasionally nasty critique leveled in four separate dissents, perhaps leaving the impression that nothing can be said in response. Continue reading »

Today we are happy to present the second preview of our final Stat Pack for the October Term 2014. As we approach the last opinion day of the Term, several key trends are beginning to reveal themselves. You can view the Stat Pack in its entirety here. You can also view each portion of the Stat Pack individually and review our takeaways from this version of the Stat Pack below. Continue reading »


Symposium: Overruling Windsor

By on Jun 27, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Kyle Duncan is a lawyer in private practice in Washington, D.C. He successfully defended Louisiana’s marriage laws in Robicheaux v. Caldwell, and filed an amicus brief on behalf of fifteen States in Obergefell v. Hodges. The views in this post are his alone.

 In Obergefell v. Hodges, fifteen states submitted an amicus brief cautioning that a decision constitutionalizing the issue of same-sex marriage would repudiate the Court’s own recent decision in United States v. Windsor, demean the democratic process, and imperil civic peace by marginalizing the views of millions of Americans. Now that decision has come. Let’s examine it in light of the concerns raised by those states. Continue reading »

June 26, 2015 is a day to celebrate.  (Indeed, we are going to have to make June 26 some sort of gay rights holiday now that Lawrence v. Texas, United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges all came down on that day.)   The Court followed through on the promise of the Constitution, ruling that the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow states to condemn same-sex couples to permanent second-class status solely because of their sexual orientation.  Continue reading »

Erwin Chemerinsky is the Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law and the Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. 

The Court’s decision striking down laws prohibiting same-sex marriage will be regarded as a landmark ruling advancing equality and liberty.   It is the Court playing exactly the role that it should in society:  protecting those who have been traditionally discriminated against and extending to them a right long regarded as fundamental.

The difference between the majority and the dissents, and between the liberal and conservative commentators, is about the appropriate role of the Supreme Court in a democratic society.   Not surprisingly, the four dissenting opinions all accuse the majority of undue judicial activism and usurping the democratic process.   This is always the dissent’s charge when the majority strikes down a law.   Continue reading »

This morning the Court issued opinions in Johnson v. United States, holding that increasing sentences under the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act violates the Constitution, and Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that states must allow same-sex couples to marry.

Lyle reported on the decision in Obergefell and Amy covered it in “Plain English.” Andrew provided a round-up of other news coverage.  Mark reported on the scene inside the Courtroom.

Rory Little will report on the decision in Johnson.

We are also hosting a “snap” symposium on Obergefell. When a contributor’s name is highlighted, his or her post has been published.

Yesterday the Justices met for their June 25 Conference. Our list of “Petitions to watch” is here and Anticlimax Watch (nee Relist Watch) is here.


Posted in Everything Else

Steve Sanders teaches constitutional law, constitutional litigation, and family law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.  He was co-counsel on an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in Obergefell v. Hodges.

A few days before the April oral arguments in Obergefell, I represented the pro-marriage-equality side (along with Robbie Kaplan) in a debate sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom.  To my surprise, the social conservative advocates on the other side avoided their usual arguments about natural law and the conjugal theory of marital unions.  Rather, they professed to celebrate pluralism and the diversity of views on gay marriage.  Continue reading »

Wide-shot of courtroom as Kennedy's announces opinion (Art Lien)

Wide-shot of courtroom as Kennedy’s announces opinion (Art Lien)

It’s Friday, a rare day for Supreme Court opinions, and some have speculated that the two-year anniversary of the Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor would be an appropriate day for deciding this Term’s same-sex marriage cases. Others say, no, the Court does not think of such things. Continue reading »

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