That doesn’t mean, of course, that the court refused to hear those cases altogether. It simply means that the justices haven’t decided which, if any, of the cases they’d like to review. Conventional wisdom suggests that the court is waiting for a circuit court to rule against gay marriage before revisiting the topic; at that point, the circuits would be split on the issue, and the court would be more or less forced to intervene. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently suggested as much, noting that, until a circuit court found gay marriage bans to be constitutional, there would be “no need for us to rush.”
If Ginsburg is correct, then all eyes should be on one man: Judge Jeffrey Sutton. A moderate conservative who voted to uphold ObamaCare, Sutton is the swing vote in the gay marriage cases currently before the 6th Circuit. If Sutton rules against gay marriage—as he seemed likely to do during oral arguments—you can bet the court will be eager to wade back in to the marriage debate. Until then, the justices may continue to sit on their hands.