Keep in mind that I'm not a lawyer and the news just broke. But it seems unlikely to me that the US Supreme Court would have taken up two key cases involving same-sex marraige just to rule narrowly on questions like standing. Which means at least four of the nine justices (and it could be a mix of liberal and conservative ones) think the Court should make a defining statement about marriage equality in the United States.
Courts are political. The Supreme Court is supremely political. That's just reality. And ever since Lawrence v. Texas, the Court has been moving toward full acceptance of LGBT people:
The Supreme Court invalidated the Texas law but also went further by explicitly overruling Bowers – the significance of which was not lost on dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia, who presciently complained that the ruling "leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples." Indeed it does.
And it's hard to imagine that the Supreme Court could possibly, in 2012, make a broad statement against gay marriage. I just don't see it happening. I think Scalia will fulminate, but a majority of the Court will rule in the spring that lesbian and gay people have a fundamental right to marry.
You read it here first.
UPDATE: HuffPo's legal eagle disagrees with me, saying a pro-same-sex marriage ruling would be too "bold." I think he's wrong; the vast majority of Americans under 40 have no problem with same-sex marriage, and in a few years, anything other than a "bold" decision will look embarassingly dumb.
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