More Americans now favor marriage eqaulity than oppose it — recent polls have found from 49% to a full 58% in favor. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Supreme Court will rule in favor of gay marriage when it considers challenges to California’s Prop 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act this week — in several major decisions concerning civil rights and liberties in the last half-century, the Court has run counter to public opinion.
In the cases of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down state laws banning interracial marriage; Abington School District v. Schempp, which declared Bible reading in public schools unconstitutional; and Texas v. Johnson, which found flag-burning to be constitutionally protected, large majorities of Americans at the time disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision. On interracial marriage, public opinion is now aligned with the Court’s decision — on flag-burning and prayer in schools, it’s not, though it may be moving in that direction.
Some court-watchers think the recent polling on gay marriage will make the Court more comfortable ruling in favor of it; but if they chose to go against the polls, it wouldn’t be the first time.
- Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean have exceeded 2,000, making 2015 the deadliest year for people trying to reach Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration.
- At least 24 homes have been lost and one firefighter killed as dozens of wildfires continue to ravage drought-stricken California.
- Three major U.S. airlines — Delta, American, and United — have banned the transport of big game trophies after the illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.