Questionable Adherence State Court Adherence to Obergefell v. Hodges and the legitimacy of the Supreme Court
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In this paper, I will analyze the extent to which Supreme Court power exists, the ways in which Supreme Court power is expressed, and the presence of power in other areas of the judiciary. In order to address this objective, I will examine the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the monumental case that legalized same-sex marriage nationally in 2015. This case has been the subject of great ridicule and backlash. As a result, some local authorities have refused to implement the decision, marrying only heterosexual couples or choosing to not perform marriages at all. The gap between the Supreme Court and the implementation of policy is particularly clear in this case, but also opens many other unanswered questions. Through an analysis of this case in comparison and relation to theoretical arguments, I will emphasize the importance of Appeals, and other kinds of "middle" courts, in the broader discussion, the importance of communication between levels, as well as the potential advantages and risks of this gap. This argument has been divided into three parts: theoretical arguments, case study, and implementation. The section dedicated to the examination of theoretical arguments will make the gaps in explanation apparent. Following an evaluation of arguments, I will introduce the case study, Obergefell v. Hodges, and attempt to apply the presented theoretical arguments to the facts and realities of the case. From this application, I will more closely examine the ways in which the absence of scholarship on this issue reflects an absence of judicial policy and communication and its potential results. The conclusions garnered from these examinations are both worrisome and hopeful for the power of individuals in the judiciary and flexibility in implementation of law.
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