Monday, June 24, 2013

No LGBT SCOTUS Rulings Today, Tuesday Possible

Gaytterdämmerung delayed! The Supreme Court usually issues its decisions on Mondays and Thursdays so there was wide expectation at least one of the four major cases remaining (Fisher, Shelby County, Hollingsworth or Windsor) would be released today.

The only case that was released was Fisher, in which the court ruled 7-1 that it was vacating a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the University of Texas' affirmative action program. It remanded the case back to reconsider its analysis of strict scrutiny involving racial classifications in view of the Court's previous decisions in Grutter and Bakke. Basically, the Court decided to give itself more time to issue a final ruling on the question of whether race can play a role in university admissions (and whether "diversity" in a student body can be a compelling state interest). So the first of the four "blockbuster cases" ended up being a dud! Since a decision that could have made affirmative action illegal anywhere in the United States was a distinct possibility from the conservative majority, today's ruling must be considered a "surprising win" for progressives and good people who support civil rights and equality.

More importantly, the Court announced that it will issue decisions tomorrow (there are 6 decisions left), which means that the plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 case will have to wait a bit longer to discover when they can get legally married in California.

I still expect that the marriage cases will not be announced until Thursday June 27th. Stay tuned!

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