SCOTUS to consider DOMA, Proposition 8 review next month

On Nov. 20, the Supreme Court will decide whether to take up DOMA and Proposition 8 cases

By Jillian Rayfield

Published October 29, 2012 6:43PM (EDT)

The Supreme Court will consider whether to take up  the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 and/or any of several Defense of Marriage Act cases on Nov. 20, and will likely release its decisions by Nov. 26.

The Court is scheduled for a private conference on the 20th, during which it will decide whether to rule on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal challenge to Proposition 8. If the Supreme Court decides not to review Proposition 8, it will uphold the 9th Circuit's ruling that the law violates the 14th Amendment and is unconstitutional.

SCOTUS will also decide whether to rule on any of the four DOMA cases that have been filed before it, including Windsor v. United States, in which the 2nd Circuit recently found that DOMA is unconstitutional.

On Friday, the Department of Justice filed a brief asking the Court to prioritize a decision on the Windsor case.

“Although Department of Health and Human Services v. Massachusetts … is also a case in which a court of appeals has rendered a decision, this case now provides the most appropriate vehicle for this Court’s resolution of the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA,” the DOJ brief says. “In particular, the court of appeals in Massachusetts was constrained by binding circuit precedent as to the applicable level of scrutiny … whereas the court of appeals here was not so constrained, and its analysis may be beneficial to this Court’s consideration of that issue.”


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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