The Los Angeles Times took a look at the marriage equality lawsuits currently wending their way towards the Supreme Court.
Efforts by some lawyers to plan a careful strategy for which cases to push forward to the high court have largely been put aside amid a rush of lower-court rulings striking down bans on same-sex marriage. The most recent came Thursday in Virginia, the first such ruling in the South. “I don’t think there is any way to predict” which case will arrive at the Supreme Court first, lawyer David Boies said Friday following the Virginia ruling. [snip] So far, the recent rulings on marriage have come from federal district courts. Before any case gets to the Supreme Court, the intermediate level appeals courts will weigh in.
The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver will go first, with oral arguments scheduled for April on the cases from Oklahoma and Utah. The Virginia ruling will go to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., and the Kentucky case will go to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, has a pending appeal from Nevada but has not scheduled arguments. Once an appeals court hands down a decision, the losing side will have 90 days to file an appeal in the Supreme Court. As a result, a ruling that comes this summer could easily reach the justices in time for a decision in 2015.
This could all be over by next year. Amazing.