January 12, 2015 at 10:31 am EST | by Chris Johnson
Supreme Court won’t (yet) hear Louisiana marriage case
Supreme Court, gay news, Washington Blade

The U.S. Supreme Court announced it has declined to hear for the time being the Louisiana marriage case. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it has declined to hear for the time being a lawsuit seeking marriage equality in Louisiana that is still pending before a federal appeals court.

That case, Robicheaux et al v. George et al, was docketed for the Supreme Court’s conference on Jan. 9 along with four other cases in which the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld bans on same-sex marriage.

Orders from the conference that came down on Monday indicate the Supreme Court denied certiorari in the Louisiana case, but has yet to take action on the other marriage cases.

The next opportunity for the court to consider whether to take up one of the Sixth Circuit cases is an upcoming conference on Friday. The Supreme Court has already re-listed the marriage cases for Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee on that day.

In November, Lambda Legal announced in an unusual move it had filed a writ of certiorari before judgment in the Louisiana marriage case. It’s not surprising the Supreme Court would refuse that petition at this time because the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule in the case.

But news may come down soon that the Fifth Circuit has determined Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. During oral arguments in the case on Friday, the court seemed likely to strike down the marriage ban in Louisiana as well as similar prohibitions on gay nuptials in Texas and Mississippi.

Meanwhile, LGBT advocates continue to wait for the Supreme Court to announce it will take a case to make a nationwide ruling on the issue of marriage equality. Although yet another conference is scheduled for Jan. 23, the upcoming conference on Friday may be the last opportunity for the Supreme Court to agree to take up a case to provide enough time for a decision this term.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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