by Brig Bagley
18 July 2014
Following the 10th District Court of Appeal's ruling for Utah in Kitchen vs. Herbert, the same panel of judges ruled again 2-1 in favor of removing the ban on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has the option to to an "en banc" appeal to the decision, where the entire 10th District Court will weigh in on the issue, or to go directly to the Supreme Court, as Utah plans to do.
There are about 12 other court cases across the country still awaiting rulings. So far, there has been a perfect record for equality with over 20 victories. Oklahoma is the second to receive a ruling from a District Court. Utah is first in line for a hearing by the US Supreme Court. The SCOTUS, however, has no obligation to pick up one or any of the cases that might reach it.
If the SCOTUS doesn't take on the cases, the lower court rulings will stand and the stays will expire, making the rulings the law of the land in the respective districts. If it takes on any of the cases, it can either reverse the lower court decisions, or confirm them, making same sex marriage bans illegal across the county.
Whether or not the US Supreme Court will take on a case is unknown, and greatly depends on the outcomes (and timelines of the outcomes) of the several other cases across the country. If there are more split rulings, or different outcomes, the likelihood of the SCOTUS to take on a case is almost certain.
Read more here: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/tenth-circuit-rules-bans-on-marriage-equality-unconstitutional