SUPREME COURT PLAZA, Washington, DC – Minutes after the completion of oral arguments in the marriage cases at the U.S. Supreme Court today, Constitutional Accountability Center attorneys who were in the Court for today’s proceedings issued the following reaction:
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Today’s Snapshot studies the Chief Justice’s approach to Fourth Amendment issues, not only because of the sheer number of such cases the Court considers, and not only because of the potential impact those cases can have on the lives of individual Americans, but also because this is an area of the law in which one can never assume that votes will break down along the Roberts Court’s 5-4 ideological axis. To be sure, such 5-4 decisions exist in this context, but there have also been surprises: cross-ideological votes in some divided cases, not to mention two significant decisions that were decided unanimously.
Judith E. Schaeffer, Vice President of Constitutional Accountability Center, said, “So far, at least when it comes to judicial nominations, Senator McConnell has flunked the test of leadership he laid out for himself last November. Failing until today to hold a floor vote on a single judicial nominee is not ‘getting the Senate back to normal.’ It’s driving it into dysfunction, especially after the Senate confirmed 89 judicial nominees last year under Senator Harry Reid’s leadership.”
Today’s Snapshot looks at the Chief Justice’s approach to LGBT rights, with a focus on marriage equality – the one area directly involving the rights of members of the LGBT community in which the Roberts Court has already decided other cases. This Snapshot also touches on the next big issue involving LGBT rights the Roberts Court is likely to confront: the claims by opponents of equality that they have a religious liberty right to deny business, commercial or other services to same-sex couples and other members of the LGBT community, or to otherwise discriminate against them.