WASHINGTON, November 8 (RIA Novosti) – The US Supreme Court's recent ruling to uphold bans on same-sex marriage in four US states is creating a split between federal judges and their decision on whether homosexual marriages is constitutional, experts have told RIA Novosti.
"There's no question that the decision yesterday [to uphold a ban] on same-sex marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky, will eventually be appealed up to the [US] Supreme Court," Professor of law at Ohio State University Marc Spindelman said Friday.
"Part of the significance of yesterday's decision is that it creates the split in authority among lower court judges that prior to yesterday's decision didn't exist," Spindelman added.
According to the expert, the ruling of the federal appeals court, which ultimately concluded that states have the authority to set guidelines for marriage, will now persuade the Supreme Court to hear and decide on same-sex marriage cases at the state level.
"The thought is that [the ruling] may be reason enough for the Supreme Court to now grant siserary, which is to agree to hear and decide a same-sex marriage or a marriage equality case at the state level," Spindelman said. "Then the question will be, whether the court holds the line at Windsor [same-sex marriage victory case], or will it understand as many lower courts have understood it, that state level bans on marriage are also unconstitutional," he added.
In October, the high court turned away appeals to uphold same-sex marriage bans from five US states that in turn expanded same-sex marriage across the country.
One of the main reasons why the US Supreme Court was not ready to hear same-sex marriage cases then, was because a ranking member of the US Supreme Court said that there was no division among the court of appeals, law and political science professor from Northwestern University Andrew Koppelman told RIA Novosti Friday.
"Now there is [a division], so it is much more likely now that the [US] Supreme Court will hear this issue [on gay marriage]," Koppelman said.
Back in June, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples, was unconstitutional. The high court also upheld a lower court's ruling that allowed gay marriage in California.