On Monday, the Supreme Court, somewhat surprisingly, declined to grant cert to any of the cases in which appeals courts had overturned (or upheld a lower court’s overturning of) state bans on gay marriage. The specific cases the Court could have agreed to hear included gay marriage bans in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin that were struck down.
However, the impact of the Supreme Court’s declining to weigh in will be felt not just in those states, but in every state covered by the appeals court circuits whose precedents will now firmly stand. For example, the 10th Circuit, which overturned the Oklahoma and Utah bans on same-sex marriage, also has authority over (and is based in) Colorado, meaning that Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage—about which a lawsuit has already been filed—is likely to be overturned in short order.
One analysis suggests that today’s refusal to grant cert will bring same-sex marriage to eleven more states in addition to the nineteen (plus Washington, D.C.) in which it is already legal.