What Time is the Supreme Court Gay Marriage Case?


The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an hour-long argument Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a 2008 amendment to California's constitution, passed by voters of The Golden State that banned same sex marriages. The arguments may not conclude until 11:30 or so, and transcripts and audio will be available by about 1:00 p.m. (EDT).

The case, which currently goes by the name of Hollingsworth v. PerryNo. 12-144, is the most important one (since if the Court is likely to use it to establish a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, or not). Besides, lawyers Theodore B. Olson and David Boies — the ideological opposites who faced off in Bush v. Gore, the 2000 Supreme Court case that delivered the presidency to George W. Bush — joined forces on behalf of two same sex couples — to challenged Prop 8 as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. 

Charles J. Cooper, a lawyer for the proponents of Proposition 8, will have half an hour to argue about the reasons offered to support the ban on same-sex marriage. Olson will have 20 minutes, and will likely be asked why the issue should be withdrawn from public debate. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., who urged the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8 on behalf of the Obama administration, under the grounds that it violated the Constitution's equal protection clause, will have 10 minutes, and he will probably be asked about shifts in the Obama administration's positions.

The Court will then return on Wednesday morning to hear approximately two hours of arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal laws and programs (e.g. income taxes, estate taxes, and Social Security survivors' benefits, among others) as a union between "one man and one woman."