Obergefell VS. Hodges

A Federalism Project by Ragan Henderson

The Story

  • “Obergefell vs. Hodges” was an important supreme court case that where the court made a five to four decision that same “same sex” couples have the right to marry.
  • The right is provided by the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • In 2014, after tedious rulings from the fourth seventh, ninth, and tenth circuit, state bans on “same sex marriage” was determined unconstitutional.
  • The sixth circuit created a split between circuits after they found state “same sex marriage” laws to be constitutional under the “Baker vs. Nelson” case (a split between circuits is when 2 or more circuit courts decide on opposite rulings for the same issue).
  • Led to the most inevitable Supreme Court review.
  • The court had examined the nature of fundamental rights provided by the Constitution, and evaluated the understanding of discrimination and inequality, which has greatly evolved since the “Obergefell vs. Hodges” case.
  • Obergefell overturned Baker. It was decided, on June 26th of 2015, that “same sex marriage” was constitutional throughout the U.S. and in U.S. territories.

My Opinion

  • In my opinion the federal structure helped this situation.
  • The federal structure allowed the sixth circuit to have their own independent opinion.
  • Without the federal structure, the Supreme Court could not have interfered and determine that all states and territories must allow "same sex marriage".
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