Idthe fight is now over what is the next battle? Poverty I guess.
In the days and weeks ahead, couples will be allowed to marry in their states. In fact, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has announced that marriages can begin in the commonwealth as early as 1 p.m. today.
So two things have changed as of 9:30 this morning, when the orders issued. First, there will soon be thousands of same-sex couples married by order of the courts. And second, the lower-court opinions, which said the Constitution provides a right for same-sex couples to marry, are now the law.
I don’t see how today’s decision doesn’t signal that even within the Court, the fight over same-sex marriage is over.
That sounds redundant, but it’s not. As long as cert. was pending, the lower-court opinions were in limbo. Meanwhile the issue is pending in the Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and 11th Circuits. Any panel in one of those circuits must now confront a huge weight of federal authority affirming same-sex marriage. True, other circuits’ decisions are not “binding”; true, the Supreme Court did not give any hint of its position. But that’s still a lot of contrary authority to move against. Any judge writing an opinion that bars same-sex marriage must explain why he or she is ignoring all the previous decisions.