After Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said, “The case is submitted,” on March 27, the justices of the Supreme Court presumably took a private vote and now are at work writing the opinions that will decide the fate of same-sex marriage in the United States. But real life doesn’t stop just because the justices have commenced their labors. And what has happened since raises the question of how events outside the Marble Palace affect the deliberations within. Over two days in March, the justices heard separate arguments that courts should not have overturned a 2008 decision by California voters to ban same-sex marriages in that state and that it was unconstitutional for Congress in the Defense of Marriage Act to withhold federal benefits from same-sex couples who are legally married in the states where they reside.
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