BREAKING: Supreme Court Lists ALL Marriage Cases For Consideration On 9/29

Via the Wall Street Journal:

Mark your calendars: the Supreme Court is scheduled to consider its next steps on gay marriage when the justices meet for the first time since their summer break. The court on Wednesday listed gay marriage petitions from five states – Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin – for consideration at its Sept. 29 private conference. Officials in those states are asking the court to decide whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional. The justices use the September meeting to wade through stacks of appeals that pile up during the court’s three-month recess. The court at some point after the conference is expected to add several of those cases to its docket for the term that begins Oct. 6. Court watchers are eagerly awaiting word on whether one or more gay marriages cases will be among them. The court is under no obligation to act right away. It’s possible the court could take additional time to mull its options, particularly because of fast-moving developments in other gay-marriage litigation.

More from USA Today:

By scheduling all for consideration simultaneously, the justices gave equal footing to the Indiana and Wisconsin cases just decided last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The 10th and 4th Circuits previously ruled in the other cases. The court could agree to hear one or more cases this winter; deny them all, or delay its decision for a while. In all five states, federal district and appellate judges have agreed that state bans on same-sex marriage should be struck down as unconstitutional. But those decisions are on hold pending the Supreme Court’s review. Additional gay marriage cases could be added to the justices’ list soon. A ruling is expected from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit on cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. And just this week, the 9th Circuit heard oral arguments in cases stemming from Idaho and Nevada. Cases from Texas and Florida remain at the appellate court level.

AFER reacts via press release:

“Gay and lesbian couples in Virginia should not have to wait another day to enjoy their right to marry,” said AFER Executive Director, Adam Umhoefer. “The distribution of our case for the Court’s consideration brings us one step closer to our mission of marriage equality for all Americans. Our Constitution’s guarantee of liberty and equality soon will be realized for all loving and committed couples, no matter what state they reside in.” The Court is expected to release an Orders List on October 6, 2014, that will indicate which – if any – marriage equality case or cases it will consider for its 2014-2015 term. If the Court denies review in Bostic, the July 2014 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that struck down Virginia’s marriage ban will be binding and gay and lesbian Virginians will be able to marry in the Commonwealth.

NCLR reacts via press release:

The couples in the [Utah] case—Kitchen v. Herbert—are represented by Peggy Tomsic of the Salt Lake City law firm of Magleby & Greenwood, P.C., Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Mary Bonauto of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal of the law firm of Hogan Lovells. Said Tomsic: “The State of Utah and the plaintiff couples agree that it is important the Supreme Court take this case and settle the constitutional questions at stake, questions that matter so much to the families we represent and to so many others across the country.” Said Bonauto: “It is time to end the legal bans that keep committed couples from standing up and making the unique pledges of marriage to each other—pledges that would allow their families protection and security everywhere in this country.”