So what happens when (assuming it does) five, six or seven justices vote in favor of gay marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges? Do you honestly think that everyone is going to shrug their shoulders, suddenly realize they were wrong all along and just go home? I highly doubt it. In fact, in many of the states where the voters are most closely divided, it’s going to energize the base with an even greater interest in stopping more liberal appointments to the court in the next term. Conversely, if gay marriage is struck down at the federal level, the battle will shift back to the states and places like Florida will see a massive surge in activity by liberal, pro-gay marriage advocates eager to fight it out from state to state to state.
Personally, I’m with the professional court watchers on this one. I expect the court to find in favor of gay marriage. But conservatives shouldn’t be rending their garments too heavily just yet. In terms of political fortunes, it may just put more gas in your tank.
Alternately, the effect of a loss might also demoralize the conservative base even further than it has been given its repeated betrayals and abandonment by the national GOP. As, is likely, the pro SSM side prevails in the SCOTUS, the state will have successfully deconstructed the family (a process begun in the 1960’s with the expansion of welfare and the sexual revolution) deconstructed marriage, and even deconstructed the very definition of what it means to be a man or a woman. The left will march triumphantly through the ruins.
When the courts appoint for themselves the power to decide issues that ought to be decided democratically, it tends to drive wedges even harder into the divisions of society.