Last Friday the Supreme Court announced their acceptance of two cases related to same-sex marriage. Scholar Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSBlog anticipates that hearings for both cases will occur in March. Joe Carter of the Acton Institute breaks down the possible outcomes:
1. Overturn the 9th Circuit ruling and uphold Prop. 8. This outcome would leave the definition of marriage to the individual states and its voters.
2. Uphold the 9th Circuit ruling, but do so in a way that limits the ruling to California’s Prop. 8 legislation.
3. Dismiss the appeal on the grounds that the sponsors of Proposition. 8 had no legal standing to defend it in court. This outcome would prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on the merits of the case. It would also leave the outcome of the legislation unclear since it would also vacate the 9th Circuit’s ruling.
4. Issue a broad ruling that homosexuals have a Constitutional right to marry someone of the same sex. This outcome would strike down the bans on such marriages in 39 states. While many gay rights advocates prefer this choice, others are concerned that such an act of judicial activism would lead to a backlash similar to the Roe v. Wade decision.
Meanwhile, with impeccable timing, What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense, by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert George, is being released this week (December 11). If you’re looking for a non-religiously grounded defense of traditional marriage, this is probably the book to read. For a primer on the book’s argument, see this 43 page article they published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. (Just hit the “Download this paper” button in the lower right corner.)