No SCOTUS Ruling On Marriage Today

It’s likely that the Court will schedule another decision day for Thursday.

UPDATE: Thursday has been added.

  • shellback

    Toying with people’s lives. How superior they must feel.

    • sherman

      They have to write opinions, and some cases have more than others. Also many of the cases already released were heard before this one.

    • tcinsf

      I am truly hoping that RGB’s has been dropping subtle hints that say “relax, I got this.”

    • Michael Abbett

      That’s the part I can’t wrap my mind around, that 9 people are going to decide the fate of my relationship with my husband, and that they might cave to our opposition which is comprised completely of religious nuts and the arguments they’re making on behalf of what they believe some mythical deity wants. In a country supposedly based on law and liberty, not religion. I can’t believe we’re still doing this in 2015.

      • John30013

        I simply cannot believe it will go that way after 6–7 justices on several occasions allowed federal circuit courts to strike down state-level bans. To now throw those thousands of marriages into legal limbo (they might eventually be recognized, but it would take years of more court cases to resolve)β€”I just can’t believe they’d do that.

  • Ninja0980

    IMO, the option won’t be released until next Monday when they can all get the heck out of dodge.

    • Menergy

      yep, duck and run!

  • Michael Smith

    That leaves seven decisions left, including Obamacare, SSM, and the Death Penalty. SCOTUS reminds me of a band. They save the hits for last so nobody leaves before the concert is over.

    • Craig Howell

      The Supremes have always been Drama Queens.

      • Gene

        they have added TH…but, they ARE such Drama Queens that I wonder if they will leave Obamacare and Marriage BOTH to the last day. Sadly, I suspect the Obamacare ruling will make an otherwise devastating day for conservatives less devastating. πŸ™

        • John30013

          I don’t know about the Obamacare ruling. To rule for the plaintiffs would overturn decades of settled precedent about how executive branch agencies interpret laws, and would open up the government to all manner of lawsuits driven by differential understandings of the language of various statutes. It would make a lot more work for the Federal courts (and especially the 2nd Circuit).
          Plus, Roberts joined the liberal justices in preserving Obamacare a couple years ago. I’m not sure why he’d reverse course now.

          • Gene

            John…I HOPE you are right. and I see the logic of your thought.
            but, as per prededent…you mean like the century long precedent that said you cant buy elections? that went down like the dodo bird. And concern for justice or the functioning of the lower courts has never been a concern of Roberts. He is an ideologue…pure and simple…and several of the others are fanatics, or just dim (which seems odd to say about a SCOTUS judge)…..I hope you are right…but, we will see,
            thanks man for trying to make me feel better though…MUCH appreciated

          • John30013

            I agree that Roberts is an ideologue generally, but that doesn’t square with the–let’s admit it–contorted ruling he authored upholding the Obamacare “tax” on uninsured people. If he opposed the law, he could have easily dealt the fatal blow then…. (Not that he might not be having second thoughts now….). The other thing I hang my hat on is the law of unintended consequences. Closing down the current agency reading of the ACA would likely imperil other laws that conservatives generally favor (even if we might not know what those laws are right now… although I’m sure someone does).

            I’m not entirely optimistic either, and both Citizens United and Hobby Lobby did open cans of worms that (at least the majorities in those opinions on) SCOTUS did not predict. So their clairvoyance is perhaps not too good, and they do seem (or have seemed) somewhat ignorant of the real-world effects of their decisions. I’m hopeful that perhaps they’ve learned their lesson from those two cases. But who knows?

            I’m also just keeping my fingers crossed from a “social disruption” perspective (i.e., one of the factors that might help motivate a favorable ruling in Obergefell): millions of people already count on the subsidies in the trenchant states that refused to set up state-level exchanges (just like thousands of LGBT couples have already married in states that otherwise might not have enacted marriage equality on their own). Does SCOTUS really want to undo that on what’s essentially a technicality (and which other settled precedent has long provided a way to handle)β€”and all to score a political point? I hope not.

        • I am going to be personally affected badly if I lose my Obamacare
          here in Florida. There is no way the right-wing Republican Florida State Legislature will allow an exchange here — none. They turned down federally funded Medicaid expansion two weeks ago in a special legislative session. I do pay monthly– but if it goes away my premiums could go up to $750 a month and I do not have that cash right now. Reports are it will be higher. It is frightening, since I need to get medical tests done to monitor some things on a regular basis. I am completely on edge this week. There are 1.3 million of use here in Florida in a similar situation. I wish I could chill out somehow right now. BTW if you want to hear a negative prediction from read this VOX article — seems that SCOTUS may have tipped its hand already

          • Gene

            Eddi, I am…truly, truly sorry to hear that…semi terrified actually. We have money. we have worked hard, saved hard, invested wisely. But, the hubby is so sick, that could all be washed away in a matter of months.

            others, wont even have that long.
            I wont get started…you have all seen me when I get on a rampage…and, I am about to go on one. Just pray if you pray, hope, and…yeah, hope for the best. thats all we can do at this point.

          • canoebum

            The plaintiff’s case was weak, really, really weak. The idiot teabagger doesn’t even have standing. Add to that, decades of precedent in how the intent of Congress has been interpreted, and I doubt the court will yank the rug from under 6.5 million Americans.

      • People4Humanity

        And those snazzy black robes!

  • Sam_Handwich

    Amy Howe at scotusblog says they’re still not certain about more opinions coming this week

    7 cases still pending from this term

  • BuffaloDan

    I’m glad that the SCOTUS is delaying the decision as long as possible. After all, should they rule as we may hope, upstanding pastors will set themselves on fire (did I read that right?!), all the Italian _figli_ shall turn immediately gay, and the universe will collapse upon itself. By delaying, I guess we get to enjoy the fine June weather — UNTIL GOD KILLS US ALL!
    Thx, SCOTUS! πŸ™‚ !!!!!111!!!

    • GC

      That got a literal LOL out of me… showing just how ridiculous the anti-LGBTQ* wingnuttery really is!

      (Though with 7,250,000,000+ people on this overloaded planet, if a sizable chunk of the population did magically turn gay, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing!)

  • disqus_oCvsL5SBJH


  • JoeMyGod

    I will be blogging from London on Thursday on the regular JMG schedule.


    EDIT: On the other hand, we could have QUITE the celebration at that night’s JMG reader meetup. Of course, I might be late getting there.

    • Ninja0980

      Could be worse, I’m going to be at a bachelor party.

      • People4Humanity

        Here’s wishing you get lucky!

        • Ninja0980

          Heh, the hubby will be there too so I doubt it.
          Plus, the lucky guy is straight, so no male strippers will be involved.

    • JW Swift

      Jet lag is a bitch. Good luck.

    • Sam_Handwich

      it’ll be during afternoon tea time over there

    • John P.

      I do think the Brits will join us in celebration if this hits on Thursday.

  • LovesIrony

    geeze, put on the party dress, take off the party dress, put on the party dress, take off the party dress…I need a new party dress

  • Cuberly

    Ugh, I’m single and yet I’m still going to get an ulcer waiting.

    • oikos

      Great graphic! Stealing.

      • Cuberly

        lol…found it the other day and the first thing I thought was waiting for the ruling.

    • Happy Dance

      LOL 5 minutes I stared at this thing!!

    • DonnaLee

      Seriously is starting to feel like that, or that annoying music they’d play on Jeopardy.

  • Ninja0980

    I’m going to be at a bachelor party this Thursday.
    If they release a positive ruling, will be another good reason for a drink.
    Because for the first time in my life, I will be on equal footing with all my straight friends that will be there.

  • Sam_Handwich
  • Michael Senesac

    Very good chance for a large crowd and media frenzy next Monday.

    • Steven B

      This Sunday is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots AND the date of Chicago’s Pride Parade. I would love something extra to celebrate.

  • oikos

    meanwhile outside the SCOTUS…………..

    • Gerry Fisher

      That got a huge, literal LOL out of me. πŸ™‚

      • I busted out with what could only be classified as a Guffaw. ; )

        And you know it’s true! They feel a little involuntary tingle and it makes them angry, and nothing spells Trouble like a fundie with an angry boner.

    • Gene

      buy a new sweater
      buy a new sweater
      buy a new sweater

      humm…does that “warning” sign look a bit like it IS a few inches farther out than it should be?

      • People4Humanity

        nah. just a quarter inch.

    • Cuberly

      Nope, that argyle simply will not do. Kaffe Fassett has just the solution though. Something that screams, HERE I AM!

      (Not me in the picture.)

      • oikos

        OMG. I have a rug that looks something like that, but definitely not a wearable pattern for most.

        • Cuberly

          Fassett typically designs his men’s sweater patterns muted, this is an exception of course.

        • Cuberly

          Oh and the small crosses give it that little something extra of course.

      • Gene

        find where good taste goes to die. enter its waiting room. rip up the carpet. cut a hole in the center and sew in zipper. THIS is the result.

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      πŸ”Ί πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ Win πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ πŸ”Ί

  • bkmn

    Wish I was in DC so I could take Jim Obergefell out for a drink or coffee.

  • rkwright

    More decisions Thursday according to Scotus Blog.

  • Michael Smith

    Next release day is Thursday. I’m thinking three or four cases on Thursday and the rest on Monday.

    • ben-andy

      Friday is also a release day, check the calendar at

  • Gerry Fisher

    Are we to assume Thursday or can it possibly be pushed to Monday?

    • Sam_Handwich

      it looks like it will be either of those two days, don’t know which

      • Gerry Fisher

        OKaaaaaaay. I’ll try to keep both days clear. The bear and I are just an hour out of DC, so….

        • Sam_Handwich
          • Gerry Fisher

            Thursday and Monday are the only days I can spare. It’s odd that I just happened not to have client meetings on those two days anyway. We’ll see!

          • Michael Smith

            Since there are seven cases left, I would be surprised if they add more days. SCOTUS hasn’t gone into July since 1996.

      • ScottJL

        My money’s on Monday.

        • Queequeg

          They must have already decided. They are waiting either for dramatic effect or so they can get out to town immediately afterwards. Same with the Obamacare decision. These are really the only two cases that regular people are anxiously awaiting.

          • BrianInNH

            They almost certainly decided back in April, but writing the majority opinion, the concurring opinions and the dissenting opinions takes time and they all get re-written multiple times to respond to the criticisms of the other opinions. The decision will be announced when all of the writing is done – most likely next Monday. They will not hold off “for dramatic effect”. This was one of the last cases that they heard this session.

          • Queequeg

            Thanks for the feedback. The marriage case and the Obamacare case are the two that everyone is waiting for. You’re right about getting the correct narrative.

    • BrianInNH

      My guess is 35% chance for Thursday, 65% chance for Monday.

  • Sam_Handwich

    Nino is still rehearsing his pout for when he reads from his dissent from the bench.

    • KnownDonorDad

      What on earth is he going to say? “No, Baker v. Nelson should have applied”?

      • MickinDetroit

        no, he’ll say Loving v Virginia and everything since was wrong. There is no constitutional right to privacy, and 14th or 5th has no application to marriages.

        • Michael Smith

          Most likely he would say what the 6th said. Loving only applies to heterosexual couples.

          • MickinDetroit

            I don’t think that goes far enough for Scalia. black people weren’t discriminated against pre loving any more than gay people are. Black people could freely marry any black person they’d like…. just like gay people can marry any opposite sex person they like.

  • Dave
  • Reform The Court

    Please someone who really knows, address this. Scenario: Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer, RBG and Kennedy are joined by Roberts in a 6-3 pro-equality decision. Roberts, as CJ, assigns the opinion to himself, and attempts to write the opinion extremely narrowly so as to limit its effect. Kennedy writes a more expansive concurring opinion, onto which the other four justices sign. So we have 5 justices backing a more expansive right to equality, with Roberts issuing a much more limited opinion. Is Roberts’ opinion ‘The Opinion’? Or would Kennedy’s be ‘The Opinion’ because it had the backing of more justices? Do numbers trump seniority? If not, this is another area of SCOTUS protocols that should be reformed.

    • Sam_Handwich

      if 5 concur on a particular rationale, majority rules

      i tend to doubt Roberts wants to pen this opinion

    • Ninja0980

      The 4 liberals can pick which option they’ll join and that will be the majority ruling.

    • JB

      What counts is the opinion or opinions that garner 5 votes. If Roberts writes an opinion joined by 5 other Justices, then that is authoritative. If he writes an opinion joined only in part by the others, then only those parts that garner 5 votes are authoritative. If he manages to write a narrow opinion which draws Kennedy’s support and the 4 liberal Justices write their own expansive opinion, and neither one gets 5 votes, then the marriage bans are struck down (because there is a total of 6 votes for that outcome), but there would be no controlling opinion.

  • LovesIrony

    Wheww, that raisin compensation case had me waiting on pins and needles

    • Adam Schmidt

      Actually, that one’s pretty big in the long run. It’ll affect government price manipulation of crop prices (generally in an attempt to keep prices up to help farmers) up and down the line. It’ll probably mean lower prices for consumers but it’s put a big question mark over future profitability for farmers. The government has said that this decision will hurt farmers by allowing crop prices to drop. Others say that it’ll help farmers by allowing them to sell all of their crops instead of holding some of them aside.

      • stuckinthewoods

        I fear that it will lead to further consolidation of farming into corporate conglomerates. Selling all at a lower total price is something only the large will survive.

    • KnownDonorDad
  • Steven B

    This Sunday is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots AND the date of
    Chicago’s Pride Parade. I hope there’s something extra to celebrate.

  • KnownDonorDad

    So if I’m counting right, looking at SCOTUSblog, that’s four decisions down, seven to go?

    • Sam_Handwich


  • ScottinPhilly

    Here’s my guess on timing on decisions based on what we have seen so far and current case load of justices:

    Thursday – Kennedy authors FHA disparate impact case. Burrell (ACA subsidies) is also released with Kennedy or Roberts as author. Kennedy only has written 4 opinions so far this term and the other justices mostly have 6 or 7 written. I have no strong sense of whether the subsidies will be upheld.

    Monday – Same sex marriage case for the last day of decisions released as many of us assumed. Kennedy authors and SSM becomes legal across all 50 states.

  • Blake Jordan

    Is Thursday going to be one of those split days… Happy news : National Marriage Equality, and Sad news : 6 million people robbed of health care (and no “heightened scrutiny” for LGBTs)…

  • Necessitas

    Keep torturing us SCOTUS, a lifetime of it just hasn’t been enough for me.
    Since you’ve already decided marriage is a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT, I’m waiting to find out if I’m human or not. It’s pure psychological torture.

    • billbear1961

      The anxiety is hellish.

  • Gregory In Seattle

    I am optimistic that we will get the ruling Thursday, just in time for the anniversary of Stonewall.

  • billbear1961

    Many–most–seem to think that–despite Kennedy’s expressing concern about animus directed our way–and HOW can he (and the others) not have seen what WE have from the haters in the last two years leading up to this looming ruling?–heightened scrutiny is unlikely from this Court.

    I’ve been wondering one thing, in particular: even if there’s no specific word about scrutiny, IF the language of a pro-equality ruling is sweeping–the word used to describe it in Windsor–might THAT–while explicit word would obviously be MUCH better–be enough for many courts to conclude–as the 9th Circuit has with Windsor–that MORE than rational basis was used by SCOTUS to arrive at a decision striking down all the bans? (and begin to use that new ruling to rapidly strike down any new or remaining laws that discriminate against us, just as Windsor was used by district and circuit court judges to strike down the bans?).

    The 9th called what SCOTUS must have used for Windsor intermediate scrutiny? I’ve seen others characterize it as “rational basis plus.

    What do you think?

    Of course, IF Kennedy actually says all that they used was rational basis, that sinks this idea of mine.


    • BrianInNH

      I don’t think that they are going to address this issue (standard of review), even though there is a split in the circuits over it. I think that they are hesitant to step into issues in general unless they need to.

      Given the changes in public opinion, anti-gay laws are now much more difficult to pass. Anti-gay bills are likely to become rare fairly quickly after some initial anger over the next year or two.

      Assuming that there will be less need for such a decision in the future, I think that they are less likely to make a ruling.

      • John Calendo

        The battle will move to religious exceptions to the Civil Rights Act…that will be last straw the professional anti-gay groups will grasp at…and sink.

      • billbear1961

        I’ve been afraid that Kennedy would point to the huge backlash against the Indiana law and say to his liberal colleagues, “You see–it isn’t necessary for us to address scrutiny. The public and Big Business will look after gay people.”

        I think that’s an overly optimistic attitude, Brian.

        Without heightened scrutiny, the animus–which never stops growing more poisonous–will continue to produce new hate laws, and the bigots will look for every possible way to chip away at our rights and to strangle any movement towards non-discrimination in employment and housing in the 29 states that have no protections.

        The pandering Jeb Bush has said this very day that this isn’t over if SCOTUS rules in our favour on M.E., implying that, if elected president, he’d do what he could to STRIP us of our right to marry, and perhaps even void marriages that have already taken place.

        Right-wing Christer malice is limitless.

        Remember–this is how those in the anti-gay industry make their living, feeding on the misery they create for MILLIONS.

        And these fascist animals control the GOP.

    • JB

      I disagree with BrianInNH. Since the ruling is likely to be on Equal Protection grounds, and not Due Process grounds, the Court will have no choice but to deal with the level of scrutiny. Worst case is a re-affirmation of rational basis with bite. Best case is intermediate. Can’t say with any confidence which way it would go, but my guess would be that Kennedy would stick with rational basis with bite. It would give him a chance to put a conservative gloss on an opinion which will surely be attacked as judicial overreaching. Also, there is a general judicial practice of avoiding deciding constitutional issues if it is unnecessary to do so. If the bans can be struck down on rational basis grounds, there’s no need to delve further.

      Despite everything above, it is possible that he could go for intermediate scrutiny. This is almost certainly his last major gay rights case. This case, Windsor, Lawrence and Romer are what he will be known for. So he may want to go out with a bang.

      All of the above assumes that we are going to win. If Alito or Scalia starts reading the opinion of the Court next Monday, we’ll be dropping down below rational basis with bite to ordinary rational basis, which would be a catastrophe.

      • billbear1961

        I simply cannot understand why Kennedy would have cooperated all this time with the liberals on the Court to let equality spread as FAR as it has if he had any doubts about our constitutional RIGHT to marry.

        It just makes NO sense to me, at all, JB!

        Again and again he has cooperated with the liberals and said again and again “No more stays–go ahead and get married.” And tens of THOUSANDS of couples have done just THAT!

        NOW he might say, “Oops, I was wrong”?? That isn’t the behaviour of a responsible judge. If he had his doubts, why didn’t he work with the conservatives to impose stays to prevent marriages he wasn’t ready to stand up for?!

        What is the worst-case scenario, do you think?

        Surely, they won’t void tens of THOUSANDS of marriages?!

        Has SCOTUS ever overturned so MANY lower courts ruling the same way on an issue?

        Wouldn’t it be unprecedented for them to do so??

        And, for God’s sake, Kennedy set this ALL in motion with the language in his Windsor ruling!

        He has never given ANY indication the pro-equality courts have misunderstood him in Windsor. He could have told the 4 haters on the Court, “Go ahead and grant cert to the hater states appealing pro-equality decisions from the 4th and 10th Circuits. They’ve misunderstood me, and I’ll vote with you to say the bans are okay.”

        He did NO SUCH THING last October, and M.E. went into effect in so many more states!!

        After deliberately encouraging so MANY marriages, surely at the very LEAST he will vote for them to be recognized, and for any couple to have the right to travel to a state that has made M.E. law by legislation, to marry there and have their marriage recognized by the state where they live, even if it has a ban he’s unwilling to call unconstitutional!

        But how he can say that the states’ arguments for their bans pass constitutional muster is truly BEYOND me!!

        You can TELL from the way he reacts to their arguments–not just his words but also by his TONE–that he KNOWS their arguments are BULLSHIT.

        “That’s an interesting premise, but you’re WRONG.”

        “I think the argument cuts quite against you.”

        That doesn’t sound like a man about to rule against us!

  • Peter Wde

    Great ruling in Horne v. Department of Agriculture though.

    Major victory for property rights!

  • Secure

    Tony Duggar Perkins is going to be ever so pissed.

  • John Calendo

    Thursday, they rule again, right before NYC Pride, but I’m thinking the Supremes are saving this up for their finale. Look to Monday June 29 for the big blockbuster finale, with both a win for marriage equality…and I’m going to gamble here … a narrow, nuanced win for Obamacare.

    • John Calendo

      The adjective TV news often uses with Obamacare is “widely unpopular.” What if the GOP got what it wished for? I’m thinking Mommie Dearest here: They don’t know what hard feelings are till they throw 7 million people off their healthcare.

    • Julie G

      I remembered this post, so wanted to fistbump! But Obamacare wasn’t narrow; only the three pterodactyls dissented. I hope the grand finale, gay marriage, is even more decisive.

  • dk6

    Can they do Thursday? Cause that would make for a great Pride weekend, just like in 2011 when NY passed, that was such an emotional parade

  • Leo Tallant

    My husbear and I are thinking it will be next Monday the 29th. SF Pride is being held on the 27th and 28th as is New York’s I believe. Perhaps they want to avoid any backlash against us (in the form of violence) at these celebrations. . . assuming they go our way.

    Just our theory, any thoughts?

    • Sam_Handwich

      scotus releases opinion when they’re all written

    • JB

      The date of the ruling is not going to have anything to do with Pride. It will be the last day of the Term, either Monday the 29th or possibly Tuesday the 30th if they add one extra decision day to their calendar. Most likely, the 29th.

      • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

        For some reason, I have a gut feeling the marriage ruling will take place this week, and they’ll keep the ACA ruling for next week.

  • Sam_Handwich

    Just read that more opinions are expected this Thurs AND Friday