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The Supreme Court will convene today at 10:00 AM ET to reveal its decision in a pair of marriage equality cases, potentially ruling on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law allowing Federal and state governments to discriminate against legally married same-sex couples, and California's Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage in the state. The Court may sidestep the substantive issues in either or both cases by finding the defenders of the laws do not have standing.

We'll post the results of the rulings as soon CNN's John King tells us what the Court decided they are available (seriously, follow SCOTUSblog, not CNN). In the meantime, join the conversation in the comments—and let's hope today is a good day for equality.

7:04 AM PT: The Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law allowing Federal and state governments to discriminate against legally married same-sex couples, is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has ruled. It's a 5-4 ruling. Roberts and Scalia and dissent. Kennedy has written the ruling. The focus is equal protection.

7:03 AM PT: SCOTUSblog: "DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."

7:05 AM PT: Here's the opinion.

7:06 AM PT: NBC's Pete Williams suggests that DOMA ruling is a big enough ruling that it may take some time for the justices to read their opinions, which means the Prop. 8 ruling might take a little longer to be revealed.

7:08 AM PT:
NBC's Pete Williams: "This was a very broad ruling...that can be used by proponents of same sex marriage to attack laws in other states"


7:13 AM PT: Williams and SCOTUSblog say language in DOMA dissent suggests that the Prop. 8 case will be dismissed on standing, which would basically punt the constitutional issues but allow marriage quality to return to California.

7:13 AM PT: Here's a look at the crowd outside the Supreme Court.

Crowd outside DOMA ruling
7:25 AM PT:
Today's DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove


7:27 AM PT: The court is revealing its ruling in another case, which means Prop. 8 ruling should be coming up soon. Indications from the DOMA ruling are that the case will be dismissed on standing.

7:29 AM PT: And as predicted, the Court sidesteps Prop. 8 by saying the ballot measure's defenders did not have standing to sue. Effectively, this means the Court isn't ruling on the substantive issue of same-sex marriage's constitutionality, but the effect is that the ruling will allow same-sex marriage to resume in California.

7:30 AM PT: Via SCOTUSblog, from the opinion:

We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here. [...] The Ninth Circuit was without jurisdiciton to consider the appeal. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

7:32 AM PT: Here's the opinion.

7:32 AM PT:
No precedent on gay marriage in the Prop 8 case. The S. Ct. does not decide, 5-4. Roberts, Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan majority.


7:33 AM PT: A reminder of the importance of the long game:

h/t to Senate Judiciary Committee, led by @JoeBiden , which blocked Robert Bork, putting Anthony Kennedy on #SCOTUS.  #doma

Please join us and call on Congress to finish the job that the Supreme Court started today. Sign the petition to pass The Respect For Marriage Act and support full marriage equality.

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