On August 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear oral arguments in six marriage equality cases — the most marriage cases that any federal circuit court has ever heard in a single day, and the fourth argument to be heard by a federal circuit court since the United States Supreme Court’s decision last summer striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Federal Judges Martha Craig Daughtrey, Jeffrey S. Sutton, and Deborah L. Cook will hear the challenges to laws banning marriage equality in Kentucky (two cases), Michigan, Ohio (two cases), and Tennessee. Along with private co-counsel, the National Center for Lesbian Rights is representing plaintiffs in Tennessee, American Civil Liberties Union is co-counsel in case representing plaintiffs in Ohio, and Lambda Legal is representing plaintiffs in Ohio.
Since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision, there have been a total of 34 rulings in favor of the freedom to marry in 31 cases from 26 different federal and state courts involving the marriage laws of the United States and 21 states including Utah, Ohio, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Tenth and Fourth Circuits heard oral arguments earlier this year. The Tenth Circuit issued rulings on June 25, 2014, and July 17, 2014, in cases from Utah and Oklahoma. The Fourth Circuit issued a ruling on July 28, 2014, in a case from Virginia. All three decisions held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.