On April 28, 2015 The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the long-awaited case addressing the constitutionality of laws restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples. I had the opportunity to sit on a panel for the American Law Journal to discuss the potential outcome of this case. The American Law Journal aired the program the day before the oral arguments were heard. I also had the unique opportunity to discuss the reasons why SCOTUS decided to actually hear this case and also speculated as the potential outcome. The decision in Obergefell will be announced at the end of the Supreme Court term which means the end of June, 2015 so the accuracy of my prediction will not be known for some time.
During the program, the panel surmised that if, for some reason, SCOTUS decides to rule against allowing same-sex marriage then all of the court decisions affirming the right of same-sex marriage would then be invalidated. This would include the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Same sex marriage in Pennsylvania would then cease to exist. Such a decision would create total chaos throughout the country. There have been thousands of same-sex couples that have availed themselves of the opportunity to obtain a legal and binding marriage. If in June the Supreme Court ultimately decides to uphold the constitutionality of laws prohibiting gay marriage then all of those marriages will be invalidated. These couples would then be at a complete loss and in total legal limbo. I do not foresee this being the case, however. On the program I expressed by prediction for the outcome of this landmark case – the Justices will find in favor of marriage equality in a 5-4 decision. It is my hope for the sake of all of those couples that my prediction is correct.
By: Helen Casale