Supreme Court Justice Kagan officiates at gay couple’s wedding

The Wisconsin Gazette

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on Sept. 21 officiated at the wedding of her former law clerk and his husband.

The ceremony for Mitchell Reich and Patrick Pearsall took place in Chevy Chase, Maryland. A spokeswoman for the court said it was the first same-sex wedding at which Kagan officiated.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has officiated at same-sex weddings, as has retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Next week, the Supreme Court justices, in a private conference, are scheduled to take a look at seven marriage-related petitions from five states, including Wisconsin. 

The petitions before the Court — writ of certiorari or requests for review — came from Wisconsin, Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia.

The justices could decide to hear all, any or none of the cases, or they could decide to wait for more petitions from other legal challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage.

Interested parties will be watching on Oct. 6, when the court is set to release an orders list that could indicate which — if any — marriage cases the justices might hear in their 2014–15 term.

There have been more than 20 victories for marriage equality in the courts since last summer, when the Supreme Court cleared the way for California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage to fall and removed barriers to the federal government recognizing same-sex marriages. Among those victories are five at the U.S. appeals court level. The most recent wins came from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on challenges to anti-gay bans in Wisconsin and Indiana.