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Breyer: ‘Plenty of opportunities’ for Supreme Court to consider gay marriage

Breyer: ‘Plenty of opportunities’ for Supreme Court to consider gay marriage
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer AP

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Sunday signaled that there remain “plenty of opportunities” for the high court to weigh in on same-sex marriage, giving hope that justices would review an appeals court ruling last week upholding gay marriage bans in four states.

Politico reports:

At an NPR moderated panel on Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer signaled that the high court had not yet issued its final say on the issue of gay marriage, Politico reports:

NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg, moderating a panel featuring Breyer, noted that by not accepting the appeals, the status quo of gay marriage was changing in several states. With many same-sex couples now relying on the changes wrought by lower court rulings, the Supreme Court could face a greater challenge to weigh in on the issue in the future.

But Breyer said that “the status quo there changes, you know, so there are plenty of opportunities.”

Breyer is generally associated with the more liberal side of the Court.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand lower court decisions in seven cases overturning same-sex marriage bans in five states — Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia.

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in the weeks following the court’s denial of those appeals that the lack of a split in the appellate courts made Supreme Court review of the issue unnecessary.

But on Thursday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, upheld the bans in Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio, breaking from decisions in the Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits.

Court observers say the divide makes it more likely that the Supreme Court will take up the issue.

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