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Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage
Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage

The US Supreme Court [official website] agreed Friday to rule on same-sex marriage, granting certiorari [order list, PDF] in four cases. The court consolidated appeals from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee after the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld bans [JURIST report] in those states. The court limited the petitions to the following questions:

  1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
  2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

The court granted one hour and 90 minutes for oral arguments, which will likely be held in April. A decision is expected in June. The cases are Obergefell v. Hodges, Tanco v. Haslam, DeBoer v. Snyder and Bourke v. Beshear [dockets].

Also Friday the court granted certiorari in several other cases. In Mata v. Holder [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will decide whether a federal appeals court has jurisdiction over denials by the Board of Immigration Appeals of requests to equitably toll motions to reopen. In Horne v. Department of Agriculture [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will decide:

  1. Whether the government’s “categorical duty” under the Fifth Amendment to pay just compensation when it “physically takes possession of an interest in property” … applies only to real property and not to personal property.
  2. Whether the government may avoid the categorical duty to pay just compensation for a physical taking of property by reserving to the property owner a contingent interest in a portion of the value of the property, set at the government’s discretion.
  3. Whether a governmental mandate to relinquish specific, identifiable property as a “condition” on permission to engage in commerce effects a per se taking.

In McFadden v. United States [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will decide whether, to convict a defendant of distribution of a controlled substance analogue, the government must prove that the defendant knew that the substance constituted a controlled substance analogue. Finally in Kingsley v. Hendrickson [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will consider whether the requirements of a 42 USC § 1983 excessive force claim brought by a plaintiff who was a pretrial detainee at the time of the incident are satisfied by a showing that the state actor deliberately used force against the pretrial detainee and the use of force was objectively unreasonable.