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Same-sex marriage ruling put into formal effect

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued the final order in the same-sex marriage cases, a document which formally puts that decision into effect.  The four-page order can be read here.

Although the Court issued its ruling on June 26, its rules allow twenty-five days for a request to reconsider; after that, the Court waits another week to make sure that a petition for rehearing has not been sent through the mail.  Because no petition for rehearing was filed, the case was closed with the Tuesday order.

The four cases that made up the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges had come from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  That court will now be formally notified of the final result, putting in motion any final actions on them in lower courts.

Because the couples seeking to marry or have their existing marriages officially recognized prevailed, they were entitled to recover their costs, to be paid by the states they had sued.  The Court awarded the winners some $34,000, as detailed in the orders.  Of that, $1,200 were filing fees, while the reminder was spent on printing costs.

The lawyers for the couples are now expected to seek recovery of their attorney’s fees as the cases are closed out in lower courts.  Federal civil rights laws give the winners a right to obtain reimbursement for their lawyers’ work.

Although the Justices’ ruling is now in full effect, across the nation, there are still some ongoing proceedings in lower courts, with the two sides in several states disputing whether the cases should be dismissed without further action (other than award of attorney’s fees) or whether formal court orders against enforcing the marriage and recognition bans should be issued.


Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Same-sex marriage ruling put into formal effect, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 28, 2015, 1:23 PM),