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Winning Plaintiffs Press Supreme Court To Take Up Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Publication Date: 
August 27, 2014
The Washington Post
Robert Barnes

Professor Jeffrey Fisher spoke with the Washington Post's Robert Barnes on why the timing is right for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether state laws denying same-sex marriage should be discarded.

The winning plaintiffs who successfully challenged bans on same-sex marriage in Virginia, Oklahoma and Utah all are asking the Supreme Court to take up the issue this term, saying their victories are incomplete unless same-sex couples everywhere are treated the same.

It is somewhat unusual for the winning side to ask the Supreme Court to review a decision. But the justices have prevented marriages from taking place while they contemplate taking up the issue, and the challengers say the uncertainty needs to end.


Winning couples in Oklahoma also are asking the court to step in now. “The time has come for this court to decide whether state laws denying same-sex couples the right to marry should be discarded into the . . . ash heap of history,” says a filing on their behalf from Stanford Law School’s Jeffrey L. Fisher, who is new to their legal team.


But Fisher said the parties want the court to have as much time as it needs to consider the requests. If the court decides to accept one or more of the cases this fall, oral arguments would probably come early next year, with a decision by the time the court’s term ends in June.


Smith, joining forces with the ACLU in its challenge of the Virginia ban, argued the case in which the justices struck down bans on homosexual conduct. Fisher argues frequently before the court, and Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, joined the Utah effort.