by Max Brantley
You can do far worse for following developments than to check in with the scotusblog for background, preliminary events and summaries of arguments, plus analysis of what justices' questioning might mean. The Human Rights Campaign, headed by Arkansas native Chad Griffin, is also a good page to visit.
I remain optimistic the cases will advance the cause of civil rights for gay people at least incrementally, even if the court doesn't knock down legal discrimination in sweeping decisions. Those who favor continued legal discrimination against gay people, be of good cheer. There's always Arkansas, where guns and fetuses are held sacred and where government intrusion is loathed except when necessary to enforce personal religious beliefs.
The Arkansas House will vote Wednesday on a resolution reaffirming the legislature's support for prohibition of same-sex marriage and state discrimination against same-sex couples who move here (why?) legally married from more advanced states. I did receive a note this morning from the daughter of an Arkansas legislator who plans to speak against the resolution tomorrow. No, of course she's not a Republican.
Good commentary here from a Georgetown law professor who, though favoring broad rights for gay people, thinks a sweeping decision might not be well-timed.
UPDATE: Early take is that the justices demonstrated no hunger to issue a sweeping ruling on a right to marriage in the California case. A decision that upholds the lower court rulings striking down the anti-gay-marriage initiative will be a big victory just the same and mean that more than 1 in 4 Americans live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal.
UPDATE II: Here's a transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court arguments.
UPDATE III: It's all about Kennedy as swing vote.