'Monumental' Gay Marriage Cases Could Set Law For Centuries

Mar 26, 2013
Originally published on March 26, 2013 9:48 am

It's Day 1 of the Supreme Court's two days' worth of oral arguments about laws concerning same-sex marriage. On Morning Edition, NPR's Nina Totenberg set the stage.

Listening to her report, these comments from SCOTUSBlog's Tom Goldstein (who teaches at the Stanford and Harvard law schools and has litigated many times before the high court) stood out:

"It's actually relatively rare that the Supreme Court decides something of such monumental importance that your grandchildren will be thinking about them, and this is that kind of case. This is special. ... This is a foundational decision that I think is going to be decided for centuries."

Today's case concerns Proposition 8 — California's ban on same-sex marriage. The oral argument begins at 10 a.m. ET and is scheduled to last one hour. We're planning to speak with Nina, who will be at the court, shortly after 11 a.m. ET. We'll post highlights of her analysis and other news about the hearing.

The audio from the hearing should be available in the early afternoon. We're planning to post that, as well.

Wednesday's two hours of oral arguments also begin at 10 a.m. ET. That case concerns the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Also on Morning Edition on Tuesday, NPR's Carrie Johnson looked at how the court's decisions will have sweeping tax implications for those in same-sex marriages.

For much more about the cases, see:

-- The Same-Sex Marriage Cases: A Primer.

--'s "special series" on "Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court."

-- SCOTUSBlog's Q&A on how the "historic Supreme Court gay-marriage case will unfold."

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