Legal Eagle Chris Geidner – SCOTUS Has Been Prepping The Country For Marriage Equality

Chris Geidner, writing for Buzzfeed, feels confident that SCOTUS will definitely rule in favor of marriage equality.

In fact, says Geidner, SCOTUS has been preparing the country for this outcome:

The justices, on Oct. 6, 2014, denied five states’ requests for the court to hear their cases and reverse the appeals court decisions that struck down marriage bans. That decision to deny those writs of certiorari meant same-sex couples began marrying in those states, as well as in six other states within those appeals court circuits.

Then, the Supreme Court refused to issue stays (or holds) of lower court rulings in Idaho and later Alaska while the states attempted to appeal the rulings. Those orders, which came with no reasoning, followed the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down Idaho and Nevada’s bans. Because there already was an appeals court ruling in favor of marriage equality that applied to those states, the orders were seen as being similar to the court’s Oct. 6 decision.

But then, on Dec. 19, 2014, the Supreme Court denied a stay during Florida’s appeal of the federal marriage case challenging its ban. In Florida, unlike in any of the other states where the justices allowed same-sex couples to begin marrying, the appeals court for that circuit had not ruled on the issue.

This decision by a majority of the justices to allow same-sex couples to marry while appeals are ongoing — and before the Supreme Court has resolved the issue itself — means that a majority of the court is comfortable with that reality becoming the default.

More than that, the decision to allow same-sex couples to marry before the Supreme Court has decided the issue creates more legitimacy for an eventual decision striking down the bans by increasing the number of states where same-sex couples already can marry. At this point, a decision striking down such bans nationwide only changes the situation in 15 states. Before the justices started down this path on Oct. 6, 2014, it would have meant changing the law of more than 30 states.

I highly recommend reading Chris’ entire essay. It lays out a LOT of the rationale for how and why we got to “here” regarding same-sex marriage.