WASHINGTON – For the third consecutive week, the U.S. Supreme Court has not revealed its intentions on the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) cases that are before them.
The nation’s high court observed the federal holiday on Monday, when the justices announce what cases they will review and which ones they will decline. Because of the holiday, they held announcements until today, but no new cases were added for the fall session.
Most legal observers think that the Supreme Court will wait until after the Nov. 6 election to make a decision.
Gay-rights supporters and their allies, women and other minority groups are concerned that a Mitt Romney presidency would drive the high court, which has a 5-4 conservative bent, to the far right for many years to come. Court observers believe that at least two of the justices are contemplating retirement, so the next president will reshape the Supreme Court for decades to come because appointments are for a lifetime.
In his first term, President Barack Obama has made two Supreme Court appointments that were approved by the Senate: Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina on the high court, and Elena Kagan, only the fourth women to serve on the Supreme Court who had to survive unfounded rumors that she was a lesbian because she has never married.
What’s next for the Prop 8 and DOMA cases? An announcement could come on Oct. 15 or any Monday thereafter, but most legal observers think that Nov. 19 could be the day.
Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional by the federal district court in San Francisco on Aug. 4, 2010 and upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 7, 2012.
Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at [email protected], @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.