SCOTUS Watch – Friday, June 26th – UPDATE: Court rules that same-sex marriage is a right

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this term (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar normally calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as last week we had our first Thursday opinion day and this week the court is adding Thursday and Friday.

The Friday Liveblog will start at 9:00am Eastern with opinions at 10:00am. We expect the last day of opinions to be Monday, June 29th after which the court will adjourn until the Fall term.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Obergefell v. Hodges. 6th Circuit overturned, ruling is for Obergefell and affirms a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. Decision 5-4, Kennedy writing majority. Opinion (PDF)

Johnson v. U.S. Ruling is for Johnson and that the Armed Career Criminal Act denies due process. Ruling is 8-1, with Scalia writing majority opinion. Opinion (PDF)

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:00am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
DECIDED: 6th Circuit overruled. Same-sex marriage is a right. The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the Federal District Court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.


Amy Howe from SCOTUSblog on what’s left as of 6/23: And then there were seven: The remaining cases, in Plain English

The Justices don’t announce in advance which decisions they will issue, or how many. But given how important all seven of these cases are, we’re bound to get something good on Thursday morning. Stay tuned!

~

Update from USA Today on the 11 remaining cases: Half a dozen major cases await Supreme Court rulings

WASHINGTON — The future of same-sex marriage and President Obama’s health care law hang in the balance as the Supreme Court’s 2014 term draws rapidly to a close this month. But those aren’t the only big issues on the justices’ plate.

Fair elections, racial discrimination, clean air, capital punishment: All await rulings over the next two weeks as the court completes action on 11 cases remaining this term. The next decisions will come Monday morning.

~

Analysis from Al Jazeera from June 1st: Supreme Court to decide on 13 cases over next few weeks

June is the final month of the Supreme Court’s annual term before the summer recess begins. Over the next few weeks, the Court will make decisions on 13 major cases. Among the issues up for debate are same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act, and religious freedom.

From SCOTUSblog: October 2014 Term cases pending (oldest cases first)

Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, No. 13-1314 [Arg: 3.2.2015 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution and 2 U. S. C. § 2a(c) permit Arizona’s use of a commission to adopt congressional districts; and (2) whether the Arizona Legislature has standing to bring this suit.

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-47 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-46 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

National Mining Association v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-49 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

Johnson v. U.S., No. 13-7120 [Arg: 4.20.2015 Trans./Aud.] Issue(s): (1) Whether mere possession of a short-barreled shotgun should be treated as a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act. (2) Whether the residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act is unconstitutionally vague.

DeBoer v. Snyder, No. 14-571 [Arg: 4.28.2015] Issue(s): 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?
Tanco v. Haslam, No. 14-562 [Arg: 4.28.2015] Issue(s): 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?
Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 [Arg: 4.28.2015 Trans./Aud.] Issue(s): 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?
Bourke v. Beshear, No. 14-574 [Arg: 4.28.2015] Issue(s): 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Glossip v. Gross, No. 14-7955 [Arg: 4.29.2015 Trans.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether it is constitutionally permissible for a state to carry out an execution using a three-drug protocol where (a) there is a well-established scientific consensus that the first drug has no pain relieving properties and cannot reliably produce deep, coma-like unconsciousness, and (b) it is undisputed that there is a substantial, constitutionally unacceptable risk of pain and suffering from the administration of the second and third drugs when a prisoner is conscious; (2) whether the plurality stay standard of Baze v. Rees applies when states are not using a protocol substantially similar to the one that this Court considered in Baze; and (3) whether a prisoner must establish the availability of an alternative drug formula even if the state’s lethal-injection protocol, as properly administered, will violate the Eighth Amendment.

  15 comments for “SCOTUS Watch – Friday, June 26th – UPDATE: Court rules that same-sex marriage is a right

  1. JanF
    June 26, 2015 at 4:48 am

    This morning, everyone will once again be #waitingforlyle

  2. JanF
    June 26, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Monitoring the SCOTUSblog live blog now … one of 54,000 people watching this morning …

    Remaining cases:

    Arizona redistricting (argued in February sitting), Clean Air Act (Utility Air Group v. EPA, argued in March sitting), Johnson v. US (Armed Career Criminal Act, re-argued in April), SSM (April), and Glossip v. Gross (lethal injection, April).

    Amy Howe

    • JanF
      June 26, 2015 at 10:04 am

      It is the Marriage Equality case. From Kennedy. 5-4 in favor of marriage equality.

      Holding: Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.
      by Amy Howe 9:01 AM

      • JanF
        June 26, 2015 at 10:10 am

        Sixth Circuit is reversed.
        by Amy Howe 9:02 AM

        Chief dissents, joined by Scalia and Thomas.
        by Amy Howe 9:02 AM

        Alito has filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Scalia and CT.
        by Amy Howe 9:02 AM

        Each of the four dissenters has written a dissent
        by Amy Howe 9:02 AM

        • JanF
          June 26, 2015 at 10:24 am

          Every dissenter is reading his opinion from the bench, something that is rarely done.

          Scalia is displeased (which is usually good news for the rest of the country):

          Scalia’s dissent has an awesome footnote on page 7 (note 22): he says, “If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”

          Tejinder

    • JanF
      June 26, 2015 at 10:26 am

      One more case. Johnson v U.S.

      It is 8-1.
      by Amy Howe 9:22 AM

      The opinion is by Scalia.
      by Amy Howe 9:22 AM

      Kennedy concurs in the judgment, joined by Thomas. Alito dissents.
      by Amy Howe 9:22 AM

      Court holds that imposing an increased sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause violates due process.
      by Amy Howe 9:22 AM

  3. JanF
    June 26, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Three cases left for Monday: the EPA cases, the Arizona redistricting case and the lethal injection case.

  4. JanF
    June 26, 2015 at 11:18 am

    The President Making a Statement on Today’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

    Transcript will be posted when it becomes available.

    • JanF
      June 26, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Transcript:

      Rose Garden 11:14 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle that we are all created equal. The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times — a never-ending quest to ensure those words ring true for every single American.

      Progress on this journey often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes, there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.

      This morning, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law. That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love.

      This decision will end the patchwork system we currently have. It will end the uncertainty hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples face from not knowing whether their marriage, legitimate in the eyes of one state, will remain if they decide to move [to] or even visit another. This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land.

      In my second inaugural address, I said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. It is gratifying to see that principle enshrined into law by this decision.

      This ruling is a victory for Jim Obergefell and the other plaintiffs in the case. It’s a victory for gay and lesbian couples who have fought so long for their basic civil rights. It’s a victory for their children, whose families will now be recognized as equal to any other. It’s a victory for the allies and friends and supporters who spent years, even decades, working and praying for change to come.

      And this ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal we are all more free.

      My administration has been guided by that idea. It’s why we stopped defending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and why we were pleased when the Court finally struck down a central provision of that discriminatory law. It’s why we ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” From extending full marital benefits to federal employees and their spouses, to expanding hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients and their loved ones, we’ve made real progress in advancing equality for LGBT Americans in ways that were unimaginable not too long ago.

      I know change for many of our LGBT brothers and sisters must have seemed so slow for so long. But compared to so many other issues, America’s shift has been so quick. I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact; recognize different viewpoints; revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.

      But today should also give us hope that on the many issues with which we grapple, often painfully, real change is possible. Shifts in hearts and minds is possible. And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them. Because for all our differences, we are one people, stronger together than we could ever be alone. That’s always been our story.

      We are big and vast and diverse; a nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs, different experiences and stories, but bound by our shared ideal that no matter who you are or what you look like, how you started off, or how and who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny.
      We are a people who believe that every single child is entitled to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      There’s so much more work to be done to extend the full promise of America to every American. But today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect.

      That’s the consequence of a decision from the Supreme Court, but, more importantly, it is a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up, who came out, who talked to parents — parents who loved their children no matter what. Folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts, and stayed strong, and came to believe in themselves and who they were, and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.

      What an extraordinary achievement. What a vindication of the belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. What a reminder of what Bobby Kennedy once said about how small actions can be like pebbles being thrown into a still lake, and ripples of hope cascade outwards and change the world.

      Those countless, often anonymous heroes — they deserve our thanks. They should be very proud. America should be very proud.

      Thank you. (Applause.)

      END
      11:22 A.M. EDT

      • Rashaverak
        June 26, 2015 at 9:49 pm

        Thank you very much for posting this, Jan.

        This is a great day for personal freedom and the achievement of a more perfect Union. There is still, obviously, a long, long way to go, in many, many respects.

    • JanF
      June 26, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the Supreme Court Decision in Obergefell v. Hodges:

      All marriages, at their root, are about love.

      Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that simple proposition—supported by a majority of Americans and a majority of our states—by recognizing that men marrying men and women marrying women are guaranteed the same civil rights and equal protection under our Constitution afforded to Jill and me, and to anyone else.

      We couldn’t be prouder. Over the years—in their homes, on our staff, on the frontlines of war, and in houses of worship—Jill and I have befriended countless gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans who share a love for their partners constrained only by social stigma and discriminatory laws. But today, their love is set free with the right to marry and the recognition of that marriage throughout the country.

      This day is for them, their children, and their families. And it is for generations of advocates—gay, lesbian, transgender, straight—who for decades fought a lonely and dangerous battle. People of absolute courage who risked their lives, jobs, and reputations to come forward in pursuit of the basic right recognized today, but at a time when neither the country nor the courts would protect or defend them.

      And this day is for history to remember as one where, as a nation, our laws finally recognize that all people should be treated with respect and dignity—and that all marriages, at their root, are defined by unconditional love.

  5. JanF
    June 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Jim Obergefell via the White House:


    My husband John died 20 months ago, so we’re unable to celebrate together the Supreme Court’s decision on the case that bears my name, Obergefell v. Hodges.

    Today, for the first time, any couple — straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — may obtain a marriage license and make their commitments public and legal in all 50 states. America has taken one more step toward the promise of equality enshrined in our Constitution, and I’m humbled to be part of that.

    John and I started our fight for a simple reason: We wanted the State of Ohio to recognize our lawful Maryland marriage on John’s impending death certificate. We wanted respect and dignity for our 20-year relationship, and as he lay dying of ALS, John had the right to know his last official record as a person would be accurate. We wanted to live up to the promises we made to love, honor, and protect each other as a committed and lawfully married couple.

    Couples across America may now wed and have their marriage recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. No other person will learn at the most painful moment of married life, the death of a spouse, that their lawful marriage will be disregarded by the state. No married couple who moves will suddenly become two single persons because their new state ignores their lawful marriage.

    Ethan and Andrew can marry in Cincinnati instead of being forced to travel to another state.

    A girl named Ruby can have an accurate birth certificate listing her parents Kelly and Kelly.

    Pam and Nicole never again have to fear for Grayden and Orion’s lives in a medical emergency because, in their panic, they forgot legal documents that prove both mothers have the right to approve care.

    Cooper can grow into a man knowing Joe and Rob are his parents in all ways emotional and legal.

    I can finally relax knowing that Ohio can never erase our marriage from John’s death certificate, and my husband can now truly rest in peace.

    Marriage is about promises and commitments made legal and binding under the law, and those laws must apply equally to each and every American.

    Today is a momentous day in our history. It’s a day when the Supreme Court of the United States lived up to the words inscribed above the front entrance of the courthouse:

    Equal Justice Under Law.

    Thank you,

    Jim

    • JanF
      June 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      President Obama calls Jim Obergefell:

    • Rashaverak
      June 26, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      May John’s Death Certificate now be corrected. Better late than never!

  6. JanF
    June 27, 2015 at 6:14 am

    From Twitter

    Mrs. Betty Bowers ‏@BettyBowers
    Tonight, Obama responded to complaints by American bigots that the White House isn’t white enough. #MarriageEquality

Comments are closed.