Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marriage Equality before the U.S. Supreme Court

This week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases about same-sex marriage. SCOTUSblog has posted an interview (7 min, no transcript) with its founder, Tom Goldstein, by Bloomberg Law. Goldstein gives pointers about what to look for during the oral arguments. Bloomberg Law also has a short (1min 30 sec, no transcript) video presenting the 5 legal questions presented by the two cases.
More background on the two cases can be found here on SCOTUSblog. A good place to start is here.
UPDATE: Oyez Project at Chicago-Kent School of law and the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States (ISCOTUS) have produced a what they have called a "deep dive" into the same-sex marriage cases -   a series of 8 short videos explaining the jurisdiction and merits questions of these cases in plain English. Very useful to understanding these two complex cases.
UPDATE : The recordings of the oral arguments, complete with a synced transcript, have been posted on the Oyez site. Hollingsworth v. Perry, the California case about Proposition 8, is here. 80 min.
United States v. Windsor, about DOMA (the federal Defense of Marriage Act) is here. The first 53 minutes in Windsor were spent on procedural questions. The discussion "on the merits" (substantive, not procedural questions) begins at 54 min. The total recording is 115 min.
Listening to the oral arguments in Supreme Court cases is always a good way to observe how American jurists go about thinking about difficult legal questions.
We will probably have to wait to the end of June for the Court's opinions.