In the last year, ever since the US Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor last summer, advocates for the legalization of same-sex marriage have won one victory after another in federal and state courts. But the real test will come when the Appeals Courts around the country rule on the appeals against the lower court verdicts.
Lyle Denniston provides a round up of the status of all the appeals.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, set to review a same-sex marriage case from each of the four states in its geographic area, will consider all four of them before the same three-judge panel on August 6, the court said in orders issued Monday.
Same-sex marriage cases are now in progress in five federal appeals courts, with hearings already held in the Fourth Circuit (a Virginia case) and the Tenth Circuit (cases from Oklahoma and Utah). Decisions in any of those cases apparently could come any day, and one or both of them could reach the Supreme Court in a matter of months.
Cases are not so far along in the Fifth Circuit (a Texas case), the Sixth Circuit (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee cases), and the Ninth Circuit (Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon cases and a leftover case from Hawaii, where same-sex marriage is now legal).
The states of Pennsylvania and Kentucky have decided not to appeal the District Court decisions overturning their bans on same-sex marriages.
Same-sex marriages are now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia while in eight other states courts have ruled them unconstitutional but stayed the decision pending appeal. There are also combinations of other cases, all of which favor same-sex marriage in various forms. If ever a case cried out for US Supreme court review, this one is and I cannot see them not picking one for review in its next term. It will be interesting to see which of the decisions that emerge from the Appeals Courts they will take up for review.