On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court granted cert in four same-sex marriage cases from the Sixth Circuit (one case from each of four states of the circuit, -- Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky). The Court called for Reply Briefs by April 17, with oral argument and decision expected this term. Cert was granted on two questions about the Fourteenth Amendment. The questions are: whether the Fourteenth Amendment "require[s]" a "state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex", and/or "to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed" in another state or jurisdiction.
The relationship between the two questions is asymmetrical. An affirmative answer to the first settles the second likewise, where the Court could coherently, hold that states must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, but not necessarily license them.
- Prof. Gerard V. Bradley, University of Notre Dame Law School
- Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute