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Friday, November 30, 2012

SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein on history-in-the-making

Tom Goldstein
[UPDATE 3:40 p.m.: SCOTUSBlog reports that the Court took no action on these cases at today's conference.  The next opportunity for the Court to issue orders will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday.]

At their Conference today, the Justices will consider petitions raising federal constitutional issues related to same-sex marriage.  These are the most significant cases these nine Justices have ever considered, and probably that they will ever decide.

I have never before seen cases that I believed would be discussed two hundred years from now.  Bush v. Gore and Obamacare were relative pipsqueaks.  The government’s assertion of the power to prohibit a loving couple to marry, or to refuse to recognize such a marriage, is profound.  So is the opposite claim that five Justices can read the federal Constitution to strip the people of the power to enact the laws governing such a foundational social institution.

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