WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Thursday announced a date for arguments in its coming blockbuster case on same-sex marriage: Tuesday, April 28.
The high court will hear 2½ hours of argument on cases originating from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. The justices will be considering whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry nationwide. They will also take up the fallback question of whether a state has to recognize a valid same-sex marriage that was performed in another state.
The same-sex marriage issue has been on a roller-coaster ride through the courts over the past couple of years. The Supreme Court in the 2013 case U.S. v. Windsor invalidated provisions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to same-sex spouses married under state law. The court, however, sidestepped the question of constitutional marriage rights in a second case from California.
Gay marriage has since been extended to more than half the country, in part because of litigation that was brought in states where it was prohibited.
The justices also said they would release a same-day audio recording of the arguments, an exception to the court’s usual policy.
The court is expected to issue a marriage ruling at the end of its term in late June.
Announcement of the argument schedule came a day after oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act. The court declined to make same-day audio recording available for the health-care case, despite high public interest in the proceedings. The public won’t be able to listen to a recording of that argument until Friday.