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January 31, 2015 Practice Points

Supreme Court to Review Same-Sex Marriage

Supreme Court to consider Sixth Circuit decision upholding states’ rights to define marriage.

By Justin L. Heather

Having recently declined to consider several cases involving marriage equality, in mid-January, the Supreme Court decided to review a recent Sixth Circuit decision on the matter. In November 2014, the Sixth Circuit, in a 2–1 decision addressing same-sex-marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. The Sixth Circuit, breaking ranks with a number of other circuits and federal courts, ruled that states have the right to establish rules for marriage and that the proper vehicle for change is the legislature and not the courts. By taking the issue, the Supreme Court may very well finally resolve the rules on a national basis. A decision on the issue from the Supreme Court may come as early as June of this year. The outcome will likely cause great political debate regardless of the scope of the Court’s decision.

Keywords: litigation, same-sex marriage, constitutional, Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, young lawyers

— Justin L. Heather, YAC Content Manager, The Quinlan Law Firm LLC, Chicago, IL

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