Monday, September 15, 2014

The Waiting Game

Last week, the State of Nevada had no one present. No one even bothered to show up for court in San Francisco. Instead, the judges of the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals instead had to endure this bucket full of crazy last week.

We will likely receive a ruling from the Ninth on Sevcik v. Sandoval fairly soon. And so far, marriage equality seem to be liking their odds.

Yet now, other states may have leapfrogged ahead of Nevada on the way to the US Supreme Court. However, Nevada may yet slip onto The Supremes' docket if the Ninth issues a ruling on Sevcik this week.

As we've discussed before, the US Supreme Court set this chain of lower court marriage rulings with its US v. Windsor. Will the SCOTUS Justices who ruled so passionately in favor of LGBTQ civil rights reverse course so suddenly? We seriously doubt it, but we can't take anything for granted there.

Now here's where it becomes even more interesting. The State of Nevada dropped its legal defense of marriage discrimination in February. That's why no one from the State of Nevada even bothered to show up in San Francisco last Monday to argue for the Question 2 marriage ban. And that's why US Supreme Court Justices will have to determine standing (a la Prop 8 California) should the usual suspects decide to appeal the Ninth's ruling.

This is why we're now playing the waiting game. If the Ninth Circuit rules in favor of equality, Nevada may become State #18 for marriage equality by next month. Or we may not, should SCOTUS decide to place that ruling on hold. Perhaps our case may be one of the marriage cases that will set a national precedent next year. Or perhaps not, should SCOTUS decide not to take up Sevcik at all.

Whatever happens, this month promises to be an exciting one for civil rigts activists here in The Silver State. We're just waiting to see what comes next.

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