In arguments that could lead to a Supreme Court decision unleashing profound change for the nation, justices Tuesday questioned legal teams about California's gay marriage ban. The exchanges were interesting if not telling -- the consensus being that the justices did not reveal their leanings.
Here are selected questions and comments of note. A ruling on the case isn't expected until the end of spring.
Justice Roberts’ comments on standing
Several justices, including Chief Justice John G. Roberts, sounded skeptical Tuesday that a private citizen could defend the state’s laws. “I don’t think we have ever allowed something like that,” Roberts said.
Justice Kennedy on harm to children
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, while acknowledging that the long-term effects of legalized gay marriage are unknown, suggested that the tens of thousands of children of gay and lesbian couples in California have a voice in the case as well. “They want their parents to have full recognition,” he said.
Justice Kagan on procreative purpose
Justice Elena Kagan drew laughter in the courtroom when she pressed attorney Charles Cooper to explain why the government should deny marriage to same-sex couples. Cooper, who represents the sponsor of Prop. 8, said marriage was about “responsible procreation.”