Gay marriage decision time: Supreme Court rules on two major cases

Live coverage from SCOTUSblog

Gay marriage decision time: Supreme Court rules on two major cases

The Supreme Court is expected to finally release its decisions in two highly anticipated same-sex marriage cases Wednesday morning, wading into the controversial issue of gay marriage for the first time in the court's history.

The justices could use the cases to issue a broad ruling guaranteeing the right to marriage to same-sex couples--or to shut down gay rights advocates' claims of wrongful exclusion from the institution of marriage altogether.

The nine justices waited until the final day of the term to release opinions in the two cases—Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. United States.

At 9:00 a.m., the experts at SCOTUSblog—SCOTUS stands for Supreme Court of the United States—will begin analyzing what the Court might do in the liveblog below, and when a decision is handed down, this liveblog will likely be the first place to break the news.

In the Perry case, the court is expected decide whether California voters discriminated against gay people when they voted to ban same-sex marriage in 2008. In Windsor, the court is weighing whether the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act—which limits all federal marriage benefits to opposite sex couples--violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples. The justices could also dodge the issue in one or both cases, instead deciding them on technical or procedural grounds.

The Court will begin issuing opinions at 10 a.m. ET.