Gay Marriage Defined the High Court Year

Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro | The National Law Journal | December 28, 2015

The historic ruling upholding a right to same-sex marriage defined the Roberts Court in 2015 by altering the legal, political and social landscapes for millions of lesbian and gay couples. But as that year drew to a close, the justices already had teed up another potential blockbuster year involving abortion, race, religion, unions and immigration.

Although most states and local jurisdictions moved swiftly to implement the court’s same-sex marriage ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, there were holdouts. Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis captured national headlines for her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. She subsequently went to jail for contempt of court.

And more fallout from enactment of the Affordable Care Act confronted the justices. In King v. Burwell, the high court in June, for the second time, rejected a significant challenge to the act. Throughout the summer, religious nonprofits filed petitions objecting to the act’s contraceptive coverage requirement, and the justices agreed to hear and decide their complaints in 2016.

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