The Supreme Court took up the subject of same-sex marriage today in the most extreme possible way—which should scare the dickens out of the activists who brought the issue to a head.
First the Court granted review to consider the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the law California voters passed in 2008 restricting the definition of marriage to “the union of a man and a woman.” In Perry v. Hollingsworth, superlawyers Ted Olson and David Boies successfully challenged Prop 8—both the district court and the federal appeals court agreed that the law had violated the Constitution. On Friday, the Supreme Court accepted the appeal of that latest ruling to address whether the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause does in fact prohibit the law.
In other words, Pow! The court has now given itself the opportunity to rule that gay marriage is protected by the Constitution, full stop. That states are required to allow same-sex couples to marry, just as they are required to allow, say, interracial couples to marry. And just like Roe v. Wade in 1973, such a ruling would invalidate the laws of most of the states of the union. (Even interracial marriage was still illegal in dozens of American states when the court struck it down in 1967.)