Supreme Court Gay Marriage Debate, With Political Consultant Brad Bannon

The Supreme Court has a bunch of gay marriage cases that have worked their way up the circuit court of appeals and because of the conflicts between the district court rulings and federal laws, Brad Bannon, democratic political consultant in Washington, D.C. thinks the Supreme Court will have to take at least one or more of these cases.

The first circuit court in Boston ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which is the federal recognition of heterosexual marriage as the only legitimate marriage, is unconstitutional, saying that congress doesn't have the power to regulate marriage, says Bannon.

The second court of appeals in New York ruled that DOMA was also unconstitutional because it was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause, saying that it can't make different kinds of laws for marriage for different kinds of people, Bannon says.

The ninth circuit in San Francisco ruled the California ban on gay marriage from proposition 8 was also in violated of the Equal Protection Clause, Bannon says, and that with these three different courts taking a position on gay marriage, the Supreme Court will have to do something.


Bannon strongly suspects that the Supreme Court will take the first and second cases, Boston an d New York, and rule on DOMA.  If the Supreme Court doesn't take the ninth circuit case, San Francisco will rule the ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Bannon says that we are going to see the Supreme Court not rule on gay marriage but rule on whether or not the federal government has the power to regulate marriage.  "The justices can support gay marriage not taking a shot at states but the federal government instead," says Bannon, adding that this is the "popular way to go these days."

Brad Bannon is President of Bannon Communications Research, a Washington, D.C.-based political polling and consulting firm.  More information can be found at  This video commentary was hosted by The Legal Broadcast Network, which provides on-demand legal content

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