August 31, 2015

The Supreme Court and a Sea Change in the Law

On April 28, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on two questions regarding the constitutionality of state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. In 2013, the Supreme Court sidestepped the issue when it dismissed Perry v. Hollingsworth, 133 S. Ct. 2652 (2013), on standing grounds. In 2013, the Court also ruled in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 284 (2013), that the federal government must extend federal rights and benefits to legally married same-sex couples. The Windsor decision set in motion a sea-change in the law, and presently 37 states and the District of Columbia recognize marriage equality.

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