Supreme Court’s Same Sex Marriage Case

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Our Pennsylvania family law firm brings you this information on a recent Supreme Court case that could redefine the “family unit” in the United States:

By Lisa Marie Vari on Google +

The newest SCOTUS buzz is that the Court heard oral argument on Tuesday on a case (Hollingsworth v. Perry) challenging California’s same-sex marriage ban. Legal scholars, reporters, and news personalities have been analyzing the Court and each Justice’s personality extensively to determine how each Justice may decide on this important societal issue.

This case deals with an important social issue, and depending on the outcome, may have a great effect on family law practice in California as well as other states. Presumably, if same sex couples are given the same rights as heterosexual couples in California, then family law attorneys in California will now be able to provide more services to their same-sex clients. Furthermore, if the Court overturns California’s ban on same sex marriage, this could potentially set a precedent for other states to challenge their laws banning same sex couples from getting hitched.

An article from the Bangor, Maine Daily News discusses the connection between one’s personal family status and their viewpoint on same-sex marriage. The article mentions that same-sex marriage advocates find it significant that Chief Justice John Roberts has a cousin who is a lesbian and is trying to marry her same-sex partner. This article goes on to state that each Politician/Judge/Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman’s opinion of same-sex marriage depends on his/her own personal family relationship, as well as whether or not that person knows someone who is in a same-sex relationship on a personal level.

Because the Supreme Court Justices’ marital status and family life may have an impact on how they view this decision, here is some information on the marriage/family status of each of the Justices of the Supreme Court:

Justice Samuel A. Alito is married to his wife, Martha, and the couple has three children.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer is married to his wife, Joanna, and the couple has three children.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Justice Ginsberg has been married to her husband, Martin, since 1954. Justice Ginsberg has two children.

Justice Elena Kagan is not married and does not have any children. She expressed concern during oral arguments as to the “cause and effect” of how allowing gay marriages has harmed the notion of traditional marriage.

Justice Anthony Kennedy: Justice Kennedy is married to Mary Davis, and the couple has three children together. According to the New York Times, Justice Kennedy has shown sympathy for same-sex couples, stating that same-sex parents of children should be given recognition and full status. However, Justice Kennedy stated that he is uncertain of the consequences for society of allowing same-sex marriage.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts is married and has two children.

Justice Antonin Scalia: Justice Scalia met his wife, Maureen, while at Harvard Law School. The couple have nine children together.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was married to her high school sweetheart for seven years, until the couple divorced in 1983.

Justice Clarence Thomas: Justice Thomas married his college sweetheart, Kathy Ambush, and the couple had one child together. They separated in 1981 and divorced in 1984. In 1987, Justice Thomas married his second wife, Virginia Lamp.

Just as any one person’s family life and background have an effect on their view of same sex marriage, each justice’s background may have an effect on the decision in this case. Stay tuned for details on the Court’s decision on our blog when it is released!

Questions on same sex partnerships in Pennsylvania? Contact our family law firm today!