No Action Today from Supreme Court on DOMA, Prop 8 Cases


The Supreme Court did not release a decision today following its conference on DOMA and Proposition 8 cases.

Writes Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog:

The Supreme Court, after taking most of the day to prepare new orders, took no action Friday on the ten same-sex marriage cases now on the docket.  It did agree to rule on whether taking a human gene out of the body is a process that can be patented.  It also agreed to rule on legal protection for makers of generic drugs.

The next opportunity for the Court to issue orders will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday.  Nothing has ruled out the possibility that some actions on same-sex marriage could be announced at that time, although there is no indication that that will occur.  It may be that the Court needs more time to decide what it wants to do next on any of the cases.

And this analysis comes from Lambda Legal's Jon Davidson, via journalist Rex Wockner, on what's next:

1.  The Court may announce on Monday that there are additional cases that it has decided to review. There are a number of reasons that the Court may not have felt ready to announce what it is doing today. It could be that the justices needed additional time to craft the language of the order or orders in one or more cases they have decided to hear. (For example, the Court can rewrite the questions they want the parties to address in the case or cases in which they have granted review from the way the parties phrased them in their petitions seeking review.)

2. The Court may announce on Monday some cases it has decided not to review. That might include one or more of the DOMA cases, Perry, or Diaz. Alternatively, the Court could wait to announce anything about any of these cases until the justices are ready to announce what action they have decided to take regarding all of them.

3. The Court may have decided that it needed to discuss the cases further before they can reach their decisions about which cases to hear. The Court's next scheduled conference is next Friday, December 7th. So, it may be that we will all be repeatedly hitting refresh again then (and keeping the dog waiting to be walked) to see if there are orders issued regarding these cases that day.

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  1. "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied" It's time for them to take action.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Nov 30, 2012 5:19:28 PM

  2. They are supposed to be legal experts. Why can't they make a decision to hear the cases or not. If it is a normal federal job, they should be fired.

    Posted by: simon | Nov 30, 2012 5:52:01 PM

  3. Unfortunately, the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States can only be removed from office by being convicted of impeachment charges, by retirement, or by dropping dead. Any alternative schemes for removal of the Justices would involve passage of a constitutional amendment.

    Posted by: ***** | Nov 30, 2012 7:18:09 PM

  4. @ Chrisme: With Roberts as Chief Justice and the rest of the bench made up as it is, do you really need to ask why the court took up 2 corporate cases instead of our civil rights? DAMMIT, child! Follow the f*cking money! All you need to do is find out which bio-pharmaceutical corporation has been schmoozing with which Justice and that will answer your question.
    As for when are they going to hear our cases? Let me put it as bluntly as I am famous for... When. Hell. Freezes. Over... at least so long as Roberts and Scalia have anything to say about it. They will put us off until they fill the docket, and then blow us off with the standard political "F-YOU" of "there wasn't enough time to bring it to the bench/floor/committee." I've watched this happen with our governments for 50 years now, and I will be very, VERY surprised if they prove me wrong now.

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Nov 30, 2012 9:55:09 PM

  5. Where do you all think Sonya Sotomayer stands on this? Now I'm starting to wonder if she's embracing our rights as LGBT as constitutional? what do you all think?

    Posted by: DatDude | Nov 30, 2012 10:03:19 PM

  6. As a Californian, many of us LGBT thought we'd be one of the first states to have gay how the Supreme Court can and very well may wait a year...two years? even more to declare a decision on Prop 8...California may very well become one of the last states, or one of the last tier states to have gay marriage.

    THAT is a damn shame if you've ever visited this state and seen just how much LGBT (ALL LGBT) contribute greatly to this state.

    If other states like Illinois, Rhode Island, Colorado, Nevada, Hawaii get marriage equality before's something all LGBT in California should consider. Do we continue contributing, and benefiting, and helping a state that doesn't recognize our inherent loving relationships as equal to heterosexuals.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Nov 30, 2012 10:07:35 PM

  7. The pro gay marriage side in Cali dropped the ball. They weren't agressive enough during the campaigns. They didn't want to offend heterosexuals. They watered down the advertising with featuring virtually NO gay couples. They hetero washed the entire campaign. They almost apologized for us being gay. The campaigns in Maryland, Washington, Maine and MN were spotless. They had troops going door to door for over a year, and were incredibly effective. It really WILL be a shame if California is sitting on the sidelines while all other states have marriage equality, considering San Francisco and Los Angeles are places where so much LGBT history derive from. That being said, I'm thrilled for any place that has gay marriage, just disappointed with how marriage equality approached the Prop 8 campaign so weak.

    Posted by: James Monroe | Nov 30, 2012 10:10:29 PM

  8. Middleoftheroader:
    Every comment you make on this site seems to suggest you're far more on the right side than middle of the road. That you seem to convenientally ALWAYS have a devils advocate approach in arguing against our equal rights makes your motives pretty transparent to those of us who see your kind post (with a psuedo 'voice fo reason- nuetral but not really..') approach. O so Transparent.

    Posted by: LazerLightbeam | Nov 30, 2012 10:21:57 PM

  9. Every day LGBT die ...and every day this supreme court delays equality is a day more and more LGBT who have passed on have been denied access to rights strictly based on who they love.

    Posted by: Art Smith | Nov 30, 2012 10:22:44 PM

  10. It is a shame that the SCOTUS seem to be dragging their feet on this. (It's feet?) However, one bright side of the whole picture is that if and when any of the old farts retire, their replacement will be made by Obama, a proven liberal, and not Mitt Romney and his jackals! This will assure us that the court will stay in the peoples corner, not swing over to the Tea Party POV,

    Posted by: Goodcarver | Nov 30, 2012 10:47:28 PM

  11. Supreme Court is just another branch of the Republican Party. People need to wake up and realize this !

    This is the same Supreme Court who stepped in to stop the Florida recount to ensure George W Bush stole the election and the same Supreme Court who ruled that businesses are people so they can donate endless amounts of money to Republican candidates during the elections.

    They are just puppets of the Republican Party machine.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Dec 1, 2012 12:26:22 AM

  12. @James Monroe: The "spotless" campaigns you cited focussed on striaght couples to the extent that the MSM commented on a lack of LGBT couples. Read the post a few days back which had the formerly confidential report from the consulting company to guide the four campaigns.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 1, 2012 12:59:50 AM

  13. Most federal departments would let people know the backlog and an estimate of the time your application will be reviewed. It is a reasonable and responsible way of doing business. Why they are so secretive, seem to be serving themselves and not the people.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 1, 2012 1:05:00 AM

  14. Why did anyone expect an announcement today? According to "The vast majority of cases filed in the Supreme Court are disposed of summarily by unsigned orders. Such an order will, for example, deny a petition for certiorari without comment. Regularly scheduled lists of orders are issued on each Monday that the Court sits, but "miscellaneous" orders may be issued in individual cases at any time. Scheduled order lists are posted on this Website on the day of their issuance, while miscellaneous orders are posted on the day of issuance or the next day."

    They traditionally announce these decisions on Mondays.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 1, 2012 1:50:45 AM

  15. @USC Trojans Fan-
    As one Californian to another, we have a domestic partnership registry and in upholding Proposition 8, the California Supreme Court restricted its interpretation to denying the word "marriage" to our partnerships but declared that they were otherwise indistinguishable under California law from marriages.

    Aside from the implied insult, that result is as good as it's gonna get until DOMA is either overturned or repealed. When that happens, if SCOTUS upholds Prop 8, there will be substantive reasons to go back to the voters to repeal it. If we have to rely on a vote of the people, 2014 or 2016 are the likely target dates to get enough moderate and progressive voters to the polls.

    I'm 69, and would like to marry my fiancé in this incarnation. Short of emigrating to a country that practices marriage equality (which he's not up for at this time), I need to stay alive to reach that goal.

    Posted by: Rich | Dec 1, 2012 3:44:09 AM

  16. USC Trojans fan and James Monroe: Actually California DOES have 18,000 legally married same sex couples. That is more than nearly all the other states combined. And that happened before New York and Iowa and Maine and Maryland and Washington. My husband and I are one of those couples. And it's annoying when people forget that while California does not currently allow any more couples to get married, we do have marriage equality which is recognized by the state government. And it happened early in the game. Please recognize that California already played a substantial role in bringing equal rights to LGBT citizens and stop treating us like we are the same as Utah or Idaho. It's simply not true.

    Posted by: StillMarriedinCA | Dec 1, 2012 11:56:53 AM

  17. In a fantasy world HIV would have been cured more than a decade ago and on the heals of that great event marriage equity won.

    We are instead set with navigating a world with more complex and sometimes difficult realities.

    In that context you have to wonder just how glacial any substantive federal marriage equity progress is going to be given the large numbers of states with constitutional equity bans.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 2, 2012 4:34:22 PM

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