Everything you need to know about how the Supreme Court could rule on same-sex marriage

June 20, 2013

The Supreme Court could announce decisions in a pair of landmark gay marriage cases as soon as Thursday morning.

So, how might the highest court in the land decide, and which states will be affected? Thanks to a fantastic new interactive Washington Post graphic, you can explore all of the possibilities.

(Interactive graphic by Masuma Ahuja, Robert Barnes and Emily Chow)

A few observations:

* One case involves California's ban on same-sex marriage, but could impact as many 35 other states, depending on how the justices rule. If the court rules that supporters of the ban, known as "Proposition 8," lack standing, determining how other states are affected would require further litigation. In other words, a "to be continued" option is on the table.

* The other case involves the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the question of whether federal benefits should be extended to same-sex couples in the states where gay marriage is legal. This case is a little more clear-cut — either the court will uphold the law or overturn it.

* The DOMA case sheds a light on the 12 states and the District where same-sex marriage is currently legal. Minnesota is the most recent addition to the list. Lawmakers legalized it there just last month, making the state the first in the Midwest in which the legislature passed the law. (Iowa legalized gay marriage following a state Supreme Court decision.)

* New Mexico is the only state that currently lacks a law on gay marriage or civil unions.

Stay tuned to Washingtonpost.com, The Fix, and Post Politics throughout the next week for the latest news and analysis of the Supreme Court's forthcoming decisions.

Democratic-aligned groups targets McConnell: Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA are launching a new effort against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that is beginning with a new negative TV ad buy, the groups announced Thursday morning. The spot features footage of McConnell saying he’s “lived on a government salary for 30 years,” before text on the screen slams him over voting to raise his own pay and "cut Medicare for seniors,” among other things. The effort comes on the heels of print attack ads aimed at Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) that were launched by a pro-McConnell super PAC. Grimes is mulling a run and represents Democrats' best (and really only) hope of competing for McConnell's seat in 2014. The new TV ad buy against McConnell is worth at least $250,000, according to one of the group’s strategists.

DCCC raises $6.1 million in May: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $6.1 million in May, finishing the month with $11 million in the bank and $2.1 million in debt, according to a committee aide. President Obama helped the committee raise money last month, appearing at high-dollar events for the DCCC. The National Republican Congressional Committee hasn't yet released its May numbers. The NRCC had $8.7 million in the bank and $6.3 million worth of debt at the end of April. House Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to win back the majority in 2014.

Fixbits: 

President Obama used his speech at the Brandenburg Gate to call for the U.S. and Russia to trim their nuclear arsenals.

Obama will soon outline a plan to address climate change.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns apologized for naming Tamerlan Tsarnaev as a victim of gun violence.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is not happy with the slow pace of floor activity in the immigration debate.

Vice President Biden will stump for Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe newspaper endorsed Markey.

Sparks are beginning to fly in the Alaska Senate race.

Must-reads:

"Is Rand Paul going mainstream, or vice versa?" -- Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

"Big Apple’s big battle: Democrats vie to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor" -- Jason Horowitz, Washington Post

"Brian Schweitzer Wants You to Know He Hates Washington, D.C." -- Kyle Trygstad, Roll Call

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Juliet Eilperin · June 20, 2013