Six months ago, we reported that it was any Thursday now. According to an update in the Seattle Times, the joke has gone from any day now to anybody's guess.
So what's the clog?
The case was pretty much what went before the Supreme Judicial Court here. However, in this case, the state has a DOMA, one-man/one-woman law in question.
There is another minor kink, in that Olympia doesn't have miscegenation-based laws forbidding out-of-staters from marrying there if those marriages would conflict with the where they normally reside. So folk could marry at a church, city hall or Starbucks in Seattle and take their potential lawsuit home right away.
The judges there can't discuss pending cases. So we are left with speculation, expert and otherwise.
How Washington WorksThe funky procedure in the court randomly assigns a case to a justice. After arguments, that justice decides an outcome and tries to convince all or a majority to agree.
If a majority agrees, the first justice who disagrees writes the dissenting opinion. If a majority disagrees, the justice who has the case responsibility does that.
Then majority and dissenting opinion drafts get review and comment by the other justices.
This could be a major delaying factor, according to former Washington Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge. "You have opinions circulating to nine chambers. It's time-intensive and a fairly slow process if there are multiple opinions."
The three likely outcomes might be:
- Strike the DOMA, immediately legalizing SSM.
- Uphold the DOMA.
- Chicken out and pass the issue to the legislature.
Numerous anti-SSM groups concur.
So, we are back to checking in on Thursdays, when the court announces any decisions.
Tags: massmarrier, Washington State, same sex marriage