Supreme Court Preview: Roberts, Kennedy, and their Court - Some Final Thoughts on Impacts and Outcomes
On Tuesday and Wednesday, March 26 and 27, the Supreme Court will hear more than 3 hours of arguments in the challenges to the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry) and the Defense of Marriage Act (Windsor v. United States). In a series of short posts, I will preview and summarize the legal issues that will be raised. In this post, some general questions to consider.
The expectations are high and the anticipation is palpable. Eager citizens have been camping out at the Supreme Court for days. Rallies are planned, the lawyers are ready, and Chief Justice Roberts is hours away from leaning forward in his center chair and say
"We'll hear argument first this morning in Case 12-144, Hollingsworth v. Perry. Mr. Olson..."
at which point Ted Olson, President George W. Bush's solicitor-general, will begin his argument that California's Prop 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. It a law nerd's March Madness, just with shorter men and longer sleeves.
Having covered questions of standing (in Prop 8 and DOMA), scrutiny, and equal protection, we are now well prepared to understand what will happen at the Court tomorrow and in June, when decisions will be handed down. For now, I'd like to take a step back from the legal details and offer some perspective and highlight a few questions to keep in mind. From these questions, one thing seems clear: this show has many stars -- Olson, David Boies, Ted Boutrous, Edie Windsor, Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, to name just a few -- but the show will end with three stars shining above the rest: Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Kennedy, and the American people.
Some final thoughts about what to expect tomorrow and Wednesday, AFTER THE JUMP...