Supreme Court Stays Out of Same Sex Marriage Cases

 

With not a single dependable hint of its own constitutional view of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court in one fell swoop today  cleared the way for gays and lesbians to wed in a batch of new states — starting first in five more states, and probably adding six more in the coming weeks.  If that happens in all eleven, it will mean that same-sex marriages would then be legal in thirty states and Washington, D.C.

In seven one-line orders, released without explanation and with no report on how any Justice voted, the Court surprisingly refused to review any same-sex marriage case now before it and, in the process, prepared to lift a series of orders that had delayed such marriages while the issue remained in the Court.   Almost no one had expected that to happen.

UPDATE 3:00 p.m.  Within hours after the Supreme Court denied review in these cases, the Fourth Circuit put its ruling in the Virginia case into immediate effect (see here) and the Tenth Circuit did the same in its rulings in both the Oklahoma and Utah cases (see orders here and here).  The Seventh Circuit has yet to act.