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Ginsburg: No need for Supreme Court to ‘rush’ unless a circuit court rules against marriage equality

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Speaking to an audience from the University of Minnesota Law School Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that those interested in marriage equality should look to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to see if the high court will take up same-sex marriage any time soon.

The 6th Circuit Court covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, where experts believe a ruling in favor of a same-sex marriage ban could possibly happen. A lower court judge in Louisiana upheld that state’s ban, but the court only responds to circuit court level rulings, according to experts.

Ginsburg predicted that until an appeals court allows same-sex marriage bans to stand, there will be no urgency for the court to take action.

All circuit-level courts have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage since the Supreme Court’s Windsor ruling last June dealing with the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

She said if the appeals panel in the 6th Circuit falls in line with other rulings there is “no need for us to rush.”

Ginsburg didn’t speak on the merits of any particular case or any state’s gay marriage ban. She did, however, say that the “remarkable” shift in public perception of same-sex marriage can be attribute to more gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people being open about who they are.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriages. Bans that have been overturned in some other states continue to make their way through the courts.

“Having people close to us who say who they are — that made the attitude change in this country,” Ginsburg said.

The Supreme Court will return from a summer recess in early October.

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4 Comments

  • Will the court stop the stays anytime soon. If they leave the stays in place it might as well be a a ruling against equality.

  • I agree… The urgency is in the Stays. It does us no good to have a ruling in our favor if there's nothing we can do with it! *Disappointed*

  • I understand that point of view, but if the Tenth Circuit case is not accepted, it stands, and Utah and other Tenth Circuit states will be out of luck. After that, it seems the court would be looking at putting the Genie back in the bottle; and that seems nearly impossible.

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