Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases — What This Means for Louisiana
The U.S. Supreme Court made a historic decision today ... by NOT making a decision.
It's a weird way to do things -- and kind of a cowardly one, if you ask me -- but it's legal. There were five states asking the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of gay marriage. In each of those five states, a judge had overturned bans on same-sex marriages. So when asked to hear those cases, the Supreme Court simply said, "No."
So what does that mean? It means the Supreme Court basically supported what the lower courts said -- that the same-sex marriage bans in those states were illegal. By not making a decision, the court basically green-lit gay marriage.
But only in those five states. Same-sex marriage is not the law of the land across America. The Supreme Court has effectively said it wants the states to decide for themselves. It's a move that both clears things up and muddies the waters. The nation has the potential to remain divided, with some areas allowing the marriages and others not.
So what does all this mean for Louisiana? Well, nothing yet. No case from Louisiana has made it a high as the Supreme Court.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, has yet to rule on a same-sex marriage case, but there are two cases pending: a ruling struck down the gay marriage ban in Texas and a ruling by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman that upheld Louisiana's ban.
That means things are kind in limbo for Louisiana. And it also means that each court case becomes incredibly important. What gets decided could very well stay in Louisiana. BUT, with two cases making their way up the ladder -- one for and one against -- it might be Louisiana that decides the whole ball game.
In other words, the federal court system can't have two rulings on the books, one for gay marriage and the other against. At some point, if one side doesn't win out over the other in the regular course of appeals, the Supreme Court might still have to step in to close the rift -- something the court has desperately NOT wanted to do.
No matter what side you're on for this battle, it's not over yet in Louisiana. Not by a long shot.