By David Lauter and Timothy M. Phelps
11:26 AM EDT, June 24, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court’s eagerly awaited decisions on same-sex marriage and voting rights will have to wait until later this week, as the justices finished Monday’s public session with a ruling on affirmative action but nothing on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
The court said it would hand down decisions again Tuesday, and is expected to conclude its term by the end of the week. In theory, the justices could go beyond their deadline, but they have not done so for years. It’s also possible that the justices could ask to have a case reargued next term, but that seldom happens.
Still unresolved are the challenges to California’s Proposition 8, which barred same-sex marriage in the state, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Also pending is a decision on whether a key provision of the federal Voting Rights Act will survive.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has generally tried to avoid having the court release several significant decisions simultaneously in the belief that crowding them together hurts the public's understanding of the court’s work.
Based on past practice, Wednesday or Thursday would be the most likely days for them to finish.
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