Gay marriage and the courts: Too far, too fast?

THE cascade of rulings invalidating state-level same-sex marriage prohibitions now includes decisions from three federal appellate courts. Last Thursday the seventh circuit court of appeals thwarted gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana, joining the fourth and tenth circuit courts that have issued recent rulings nullifying one man-one woman marriage laws in Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma. The ninth circuit heard arguments in three gay marriage cases on September 8th and the fifth and sixth circuits are also taking up the question. The Supreme Court is widely expected to review decisions from one or more of these jurisdictions in the coming year.

As speculation turns to how the US Supreme Court justices will handle the tidal wave of state judicial support for same-sex marriage, it might be natural to assume that we’re gearing up for another 4-4 right-left split, with Justice Anthony Kennedy in the middle. Read More