Appeals Court Reinstates Gay Marriage Bans For The First Time

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks to the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Reston, Va. She took part in what event organizers describe as a "fireside chat" with former U.... Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks to the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Reston, Va. She took part in what event organizers describe as a "fireside chat" with former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson. Olson served as solicitor general from 2001 to 2004 under President George W. Bush and is still a frequent advocate before the court. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld gay marriage bans in four states on Thursday, a pivotal point in the legal battle for marriage equality that makes the Supreme Court likelier to step in and settle the issue.

It is the first appeals court to rule that same-sex marriage bans are constitutional since the 2013 Supreme Court decision in US v. Windsor. Four other federal appeals courts ruled that the Constitution protects the right of gay couples to marry, paving the way for same-sex marriage in more than 30 states.

The panel featured two Republican-appointed judges who overturned lower court decisions and upheld bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. One Democratic-appointed judge dissented.

“[T]he right to marry in general, and the right to gay marriage in particular, nowhere appear in the Constitution. That route for recognizing a fundamental right to same-sex marriage does not exist,” Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the court.

The Supreme Court surprised many legal observers by refusing to hear the issue in early October, instead letting the uniform appeals court decisions stand. As long as the full 6th Circuit court doesn’t review and reverse the decision, it leaves a split in the appellate courts which creates a strong impetus for the justices to step in.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hinted as much in September, when she told a Minnesota audience that “there will be some urgency” for the Supreme Court to consider the issue if the 6th Circuit allows same-sex marriage bans to stand. Otherwise, she said, there’s “no need for us to rush.”

2014-11-06-MI-

Latest DC

Notable Replies

  1. No reason to go out and vote if you are a young person who is either gay or has gay friends, no reason at all.

  2. I guess it depends on whether or not it is appealed to the full court. However if it makes it to the supreme court, how will it impact businesses should be the question, since the US SC is clearly PRO business, if it is good for business, especially BIG business, then …

  3. Of course not. They’re all the same! No difference between the parties at all.

  4. “[T]he right to marry in general, and the right to gay marriage in particular, nowhere appear in the Constitution. That route for recognizing a fundamental right to same-sex marriage does not exist,” Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the court.

    Ignoring the following 14 Supreme Court Rulings, dating back to 1888:

    1.Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 205, 211 (1888): Marriage is “the most important relation in life” and “the foundation of the family and society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.”
    2.Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923): The right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children” is a central part of liberty protected by the Due Process Clause.
    3.Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942): Marriage “one of the basic civil rights of man,” “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.”
    4.Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 (1965): “We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights—older than our political parties, older than our school system. Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in our prior decisions.”
    5.Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967): “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”
    6.Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371, 376, 383 (1971): “[M]arriage involves interests of basic importance to our society” and is “a fundamental human relationship.”
    7.Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632, 639-40 (1974): “This Court has long recognized that freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
    8.Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 499 (1977) (plurality): “[W]hen the government intrudes on choices concerning family living arrangements, this Court must examine carefully the importance of the governmental interests advanced and the extent to which they are served by the challenged regulation.”
    9.Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678, 684-85 (1977): “[I]t is clear that among the decisions that an individual may make without unjustified government interference are personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, and child rearing and education.”
    10.Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 384 (1978): “[T]he right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals.”
    11.Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 95 (1987): “[T]he decision to marry is a fundamental right” and an “expression[ ] of emotional support and public commitment.”
    12.Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992): “These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
    13.M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 519 U.S. 102, 116 (1996): “Choices about marriage, family life, and the upbringing of children are among associational rights this Court has ranked as ‘of basic importance in our society,’ rights sheltered by the Fourteenth Amendment against the State’s unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.”
    14.Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 574 (2003): “[O]ur laws and tradition afford constitutional protection to personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, and education. … Persons in a homosexual relationship may seek autonomy for these purposes, just as heterosexual persons do.”

  5. “Rush” is a relative term when you’re talking about the Supreme Court. Given that there are only a few months left in which to assemble all the documents and filings and counter-filings required before SCOTUS even talks about taking a case, there’s a good chance this won’t be heard before the 2015-16 session, which means we wouldn’t have (or not have) marriage equality throughout the land until the end of June 2016.

    I’m lucky enough to live in a state where our marriage got state recognition a month ago. Many more couples in about a third of the states may end up having to wait longer.

    (Damn! I wish I could vote on the rights of people I don’t like!)

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

37 more replies

Participants

Avatar for system Avatar for clk Avatar for lestatdelc Avatar for charliee Avatar for mattinpa Avatar for radicalcentrist Avatar for bojimbo26 Avatar for dizcuzted Avatar for glblank Avatar for dswx Avatar for xyxox Avatar for mantan Avatar for sherlock1 Avatar for midnight_rambler Avatar for ottnott Avatar for snarkus_aurelius Avatar for multiverseinhabitant Avatar for ronbyers Avatar for dddinah Avatar for ewparris Avatar for sjk Avatar for antisachetdethe Avatar for bckrd1 Avatar for Spartacus

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: