Supreme Court Sets Hearing Date for Marriage Equality Appeals

On March 5 the Supreme Court posted on its website the last argument calendar for the year, listing for Tuesday, April 28, the appeals in Obergefell v. Hodges, Tanco v. Haslam, DeBoer v. Snyder and Bourke v. Beshear, the four marriage equality appeals from the states of the 6th Circuit.  The arguments will begin at 10 am.  The Court does not broadcast its arguments live, but in a press release also issued March 5 the Court announced that an audio recording of the argument, together with a written transcript, will be posted on the Court’s website by 2 pm on the date of the argument.

This last bit is an unusual move, inasmuch as the Court usually delays posting audio recordings until Friday on argument weeks, although transcripts are usually posted a few hours after a hearing concludes.  Indeed, earlier this week the Court had refused a request by news organizations for same-day posting of the audio recording in the Obamacare case, argued on Wednesday, March 4.  Delaying the posting of audio recordings sharply reduces their usefulness to the media, since they want to post their stories about the argument on the same day it is held.  Holding up posting the audio until Friday means that they can’t link audio clips to their on-line articles, or play short clips on TV, radio and webcast news programs.  So the decision to do it for the marriage cases signifies some understanding by the Court about the eagerness for transparency by the millions of gay people around the country who are paying attention to these cases.

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