By Erin Fuchs
February 26, 2013
Seventy-five prominent Republicans are doing their best to convince the U.S. Supreme Court’s more conservative wing to allow gay marriage, The New York Times reports.
Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, and other notable conservatives have signed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down California’s anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8.
Such briefs don’t usually change how justices will vote on a case, but experts told The New York Times that this might be an exception since so many influential people signed onto the brief, which will be submitted this week.
Tom Goldstein, who publishes the influential SCOTUSBlog, told the Times that the brief could potentially “break through and make a real difference.” Goldstein added:
“The person who is going to decide this case, if it’s going to be close, is going to be a conservative justice who respects traditional marriage but nonetheless is sympathetic to the claims that this is just another form of hatred. If you’re trying to persuade someone like that, you can’t persuade them from the perspective of gay rights advocacy.”
The conservative justice who might be most easily persuaded could be Justice John Roberts, who surprised everybody with his Obamacare decision.
Justice Antonin Scalia might be the toughest justice to persuade to vote in favor of gay marriage, given his history of making comments and writing opinions that make him come off as very anti-gay.