Supreme Court questions broad gay marriage ruling

10:49 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - People hoping for a sweeping decision on gay rights by the Supreme Court may have reason to worry.

During arguments Tuesday, some justices questioned whether the timing was right.

"Traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. Same sex marriage is very new," said Justice Samuel Alito. "There isn't a lot of data about its effect."

KARE 11 spoke with two people who were inside the courtroom and they express doubt that a sweeping ruling will be delivered.

"I think that's an unlikely result from today's argument," says University of Minnesota constitutional law professor Dale Carpenter. "I think the most likely result is the court will dismiss the case for one reason or another and let the issue percolate for a while."

Carpenter bases that analysis on how much time was spent arguing the technicalities of the case. He thinks the justices are looking for a way out.

"I think they genuinely don't believe they should be in the business of deciding contentious, contested questions. They are nervous about that," Carpenter said.

Also in the courtroom was attorney Luke Platzer, who has written legal briefs in support of gay rights.

"Some justices seemed to have a real case of buyer's remorse. In the sense of, 'Why did we take this case to begin with?'" says Platzer.

Even if a sweeping ruling is not issued, Platzer believes gay rights advocates will still have something to be proud of.

"It's very clear that some justices were completely on board with marriage equality and the ones that had doubts, it's not that they were opposed to marriage equality so much as they were just worried about the court deciding it prematurely," said Platzer. "So ,it's certainly a sign of how far we've come."

A final decision by the court is expected in June.

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