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Supreme Court To Review Challenges To Defense Of Marriage Act, California’s Proposition 8

The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it will take up two cases relating to the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in the United States. SCOTUS announced that it would review challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s gay marriage ban Prop. 8 passed in 2008 by referendum. The cases will likely be argued before the nation’s highest court early next year.

The Defense of Marriage Act, while still on the books, has not been an enforcement priority for the Justice Department since President Barack Obama took office. Prop. 8, meanwhile, has the potential to be a more far-reaching ruling if the ban itself is ruled to be unconstitutional.

SCOTUS Blog, however, sees the potential for a less sweeping ruling in the Prop. 8 case:

Trying to sort this all out, it is clear that the Court has agreed to consider the merits case in Prop. 8, because that is what the petition presented as its question, but that it is also going to address whether the proponents had a right to pursue their case. If the Court were to find that the proponents did not have Art. III standing, that is the end of the matter: there would be no review on the merits of Proposition 8, or of the 9th CA decision striking it down.

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