Atlantis Alumni

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court Could Punt On Marriage Equality

I hope not, but the Supreme Court could dodge the issue of marriage equality. According to an article I read recently, the court could send the case back to the circuit court for review. This is because the circuit court used the lowest level of scrutiny when arriving at their decision that states could ban same sex marriage. However, the Supreme Court could send the case back to the circuit court with instructions to use a higher level of scrutiny when re-examining the case. In other words, the circuit court said that laws banning same sex marriage are constitutional as long as the state can offer a rational reason for them, e.g., providing children with opposite sex parents. But a higher level of scrutiny would require the circuit court to overturn same sex marriage bans in the absence of a compelling reason for them. If this happens then several outcomes are likely: the Supreme Court is off the hook and doesn't have to make a controversial decision; the circuit court will be forced to reverse their own decision and overturn the marriage bans; and finally and most significantly, this would establish a precedent that laws disadvantaging GLBTQ people will not survive court tests since a higher level of scrutiny will be applied to them. We'll soon see what happens.

No comments: