Gay Marriage Goes Before Iowa High Court This Week
Professor Jane Schacter is quoted in The Des Moines Register in an article about a same-sex marriage case that is being argued before the Iowa Supreme Court:
The Iowa Supreme Court this week will hear a same-sex marriage case that could become a national victory for the gay rights movement or a chance to reinforce Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban.
Oral arguments on Tuesday will pit six same-sex Iowa couples against Polk County and supporters of the state law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Gay-rights advocates have avoided the federal courts because marriage law is largely a state issue, said Jane Schacter, a Stanford University law professor who followed California's gay-marriage case. Advocates also worry that the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court could deliver an unfavorable ruling, she said.
Iowa might have been an appealing target, Schacter said, because of the state court's roster, public opinion polls, and the long process required to enact a constitutional amendment.
"All of these cases are being watched very, very closely," Schacter said. "There's not a rush to get a national resolution. There has been a lot of coordination on both sides, because it's proceeding state-by-state."