Gabriel Arana wonders:
Today’s opinion hints that the Justices have little desire to get too far ahead of public opinion. Mostly likely, the current cases making their way through the legal system will stop at the Supreme Court’s door. But given the incoherent legal patchwork the rulings leave in place, it’s only a matter of time before the Justices will have to revisit the issue. The question is when. It was 17 years between Bowers v. Hardwick, in which the Court upheld anti-sodomy laws, and Lawrence v. Texas, which reversed Bowers. Twenty years went by between the Court’s landmark abortion ruling in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which addressed the the constitutionality of restrictions on abortion. But with public opinion on gay rights evolving at breakneck speed, gay-rights advocates say the timetable may be shorter.