Today is the first Monday in October and the Supreme Court begins a new term. The Supreme Court has the potential to deliver major rulings this term on affirmative action, voting rights, marriage equality and gay rights.
On each Monday, the Court announces which cases they will review and which they will drop. But there will be no action taken today or tomorrow on the federal challenge to Proposition 8 ... or on several challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act.
Like last week, orders were expected this morning that could have addressed whether the Supreme Court will take up the constitutional challenges to Prop 8 and DOMA, as well as other gay rights cases. And like last week, no action was taken on these cases. The Court did not outright deny review, and it did not write a summary reversal or a remand in the cases.
There are several possible scenarios, notes San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.
1. The Supreme Court, on Oct. 8, will release the list of cases that it will not consider. If the Prop 8 and/or DOMA cases are placed on that list, then the lower court rulings will stand. Gay and lesbian couples in California would again be able to marry, as soon as the lower courts sign off on the case.
2. However, if the Prop 8 and/or DOMA cases are not on the list, that means the Supreme Court could be postponing any decision on those cases until after the presidential election, making Nov. 19 a highly watched date. There is also the distinct possibility that the justices will merge several high-profile gay-rights cases to review en masse.
A number of major news outlets have speculated that the marriage rulings may not happen until after the election.