RELATED: Plaintiffs in the Oklahoma and Virginia cases have filed similar petitions, but SCOTUSblog today pointed out an angle from the Oklahoma case:
In the most specific advice so far on how the Supreme Court could handle the same-sex marriage cases, lawyers for an Oklahoma lesbian couple urged the Justices on Wednesday to consider two options: a slimmed-down, one-issue, one-case review or a sweeping, all-issues, multiple-cases approach. That filing also suggested that the Court might want to divide argument between two different constitutional tests for judging the validity of states’ bans on same-sex marriage. The document was the closest thing the Court has so far seen to a distinct plan for review of the rapidly expanding caseload on the issue. Up to now, filings have been largely focused on promoting specific petitions as the best candidates for review.
The Court now has four petitions on the issue: one from Oklahoma (Smith v. Bishop), one from Utah (Herbert v. Kitchen), and two from Virginia (Rainey v. Bostic and Schaefer v. Boston). A third from Virginia has been promised (McQuigg v. Bostic), but has yet to reach the Court. Many of the lawyers involved have been pressing the Court to take up the issue at their first private Conference, on September 29. The Court and its staff, though, will make that call. The Justices alone will decide what, if any, cases they will grant. The Oklahoma filing on Wednesday came from lawyers for Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, a Tulsa couple barred from marrying by state laws and by a state constitutional amendment approved by voters ten years ago.