Judge Jeffrey Sutton has been applauded by both liberals and conservatives for his rulings at different times and is known to be the swing vote on the circuit panel.
This is significant because Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee are all in contest with in-state gay marriage bans. These have come before the 6th Circuit judges and Sutton's vote matters.
Will Sutton vote to strike down the gay marriage bans as unconstitutional? Or will he uphold state laws as the voters have created them?
It seems that Sutton is leaning toward upholding the states laws. His comments indicated that he believes the decision on same sex marriage should be made through "the democratic process" and not by a handful of judges. This article quotes him as saying:
"Forcing one’s neighbors, co-employees, friends, to recognize that these marriages, the status deserves the same respect as the status in a heterosexual couple. … If the goal is to change hearts and minds … isn’t it worth the expense? Don’t you think you’re more likely to change hearts and minds through the democratic process than you are through a decision by five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court?"
The decisions that are made in these states may influence whether or not the Supreme Court decides to weigh in on state marriage bans and make it a federal issue. The Huffington Post quotes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as saying that people "seeking clues about how the Supreme Court might weigh in on states' gay marriage bans" should pay attention to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
What do you think? Are gay marriage bans something a judge should be able to strike down? Why or why not? Share your response in the comments.