Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument In Same-Sex Marriage Cases

The Supreme Court has set the dates for oral argument of the two same-sex marriage cases it agreed to hear late last year:

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear arguments in late March on two key cases on the issue of same-sex marriage.

On March 26, the justices will hear Hollingsworth v. Perry, on the issue of California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. The justices have agreed to hear argument on the question of whether the U.S. Constitution bars California from limiting marriage to unions of one man and one woman. They will also consider whether those defending Proposition 8 have the standing necessary to do so.

On March 27, the justices are set to hear U.S. v. Windsor, about whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996 violates the U.S. Constitution. Another question to be argued is whether the Congress—acting through the House of Represenatives’ Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group—can defend DOMA even though the Obama Administration agreed with a federal appeals court that the law is unconstitutional.

These dates fall right in the middle of the one year anniversary of the three day period in March 2012 during which the Court hear oral argument in the cases challenging the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Given the intense public interest in these matters, I imagine that the Court will make transcripts and audio recordings of the arguments available on an expedited basis after the arguments are finished. Additionally, now that the dates for argument are set, we should start seeing briefs coming through relatively soon.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. bill says:

    i think “verbal argument” would be more apropos!

  2. edmondo says:

    The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear arguments in late March on two key cases on the issue of same-sex marriage.

    In other news, four Supreme Court justices will vote to deny these rights by late February…..

  3. C. Clavin says:

    This case seems clear to me but with Scalia and Thomas who knows?
    I can only imagine a Romney stacked SCOTUS and the damage that would have done to freedom and liberty.

  4. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: sure, blame the black guy!

  5. matt says:

    @bill: Oh man I was fearful that I was the only one that had to double take the headline..

  6. Lib Cap says:

    Wait… What?

    … Giggity.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @matt: you were not alone.

  8. Franklin says:

    Agreed, in my browser, at least, one word was directly above another, leading to confusion about what exactly SCOTUS is doing behind closed doors.

  9. The Q says:

    I am sure the SC will blow it if they rule against same sex marriage and the gays will feel they got royally screwed by this rigid adherence to ‘original intent’ interpretations by the stiff right wing SCOTUS members.

  10. grumpy realist says:

    @matt: You weren’t. Trust me, you weren’t.

  11. rudderpedals says:

    The House in particular is acting like the twisted one in Birth of a Nation, inverted.

  12. Tyrell says:

    @The Q: Is there a pun in your first line ?

  13. Robert in SF says:

    /Pet Peeve Mode On/

    Do you commenters even know gay people who are married, or been together more than a year or so?

    If you did, then you would know it’s pretty much like any straight marriage…sex isn’t that much a part of it anymore…just cause we’re gay (or men) doesn’t make us horn-dogs 24/7/365/life!

    Just sayin’… 🙂

    Of course, I am assuming that most of you are just joking around, but this is part of the stigma with same-sex or gay or homosexual as a grammatical modifier…the first thing people tend to think about is sex!sex!sex! It seems the natural go-to thought for people, and it’s not out of malice or bigotry…but still it’s frustrating…when we gay people here someone talk about their wife or girlfriend…we don’t tend to think about your sex lives or think of it in sexual terms at all…and any references to (straight) marriage don’t come with sex overtones right away.

    And believe me, even gay people should marry or date long term for love not sex, cause after a while, sex isn’t that big part of it anymore…and if you together for the sex to last, you are gonna be disappointed long term.

    (anyone want to get a pool going on how many people react or post that *their* sex lives are great after so many years of being together…just like honeymooners?….OK, sure, but I think they are the exception, not the rule)

    Thought experiment maybe….if this was about inter-racial marriage, would we have the same jokes in our head about oral arguments? Maybe….maybe not…maybe I am just sensitive to the subject and the go-to punchlines/associations…..sorry for the rant. No offense intended or taken.

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @Robert in SF: I think it’s more we’re poking fun at the impression the socio-cons have about gay marriage (and what they rant about). One gets the impression that Scalia thinks more about gay sex and blowjobs than any gay couple ever does.(Me, I think that gay couples probably get up, yawn, make coffee, get dressed, feed the dog, go to work, etc. and are far more interested in all the other stuff that makes up a marriage.)