Tuesday, September 16, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
MINNEAPOLIS — People seeking clues about how soon the Supreme Court might weigh in on states’ gay marriage bans should pay close attention to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a Minnesota audience Tuesday.
Ginsburg said cases pending before the circuit covering Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio andTennessee would probably play a role in the high court’s timing. She said “there will be some urgency” if that appeals court allows same-sex marriage bans to stand. Such a decision would run contrary to a legal trend favoring gay marriage and force the Supreme Court to step in sooner, she predicted.
She said if the appeals panel falls in line with other rulings there is “no need for us to rush.”
Ginsburg didn’t get into the merits of any particular case or any state’s gay marriage ban, but she marveled at the “remarkable” shift in public perception of same-sex marriage that she attributes to gays and lesbians being more open about their relationships.
Same-sex couples can legally wed in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Bans that have been overturned in some other states continue to make their way through the courts.
“Having people close to us who say who they are – that made the attitude change in this country,” Ginsburg said at the University of Minnesota Law School.