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What a week! And we were worried that we'd be topic dry once the Supreme Court's summer session hit.

As is our usual Friday bit, we're going to do a roundup of Supreme Court-related headlines. This time, Utah is seeking a stay on "interim" marriages (same-sex couples married before the Supreme Court's grant of a stay), the Tenth Circuit rules against Oklahoma's ban, and Florida gets its first pro-gay marriage opinion.

And then there's California: foie gras and the death penalty.

Gay marriage is coming to the Supreme Court, sooner rather than later. And for the dozens of cases proceeding nationwide, expending resources to litigate on a state-by-state basis, the answer can't come soon enough.

How soon are we talking? Could it happen this year? And which state(s) will be the ones to get there? Utah will obviously be the first to file certiorari, as we noted last week, but will the court take the first case in the cert. pool?

Another year, another child abduction case in the Supreme Court.

This time, the issue is equitable tolling, or to put it in non-legal terms, whether a parent should benefit by hiding a kid away for more than the one-year period for presumptive return of the child.

Diana Montoya Alvarez absconded with her child, first to a battered women's shelter (there was a non-dispositive and disputed issue of abuse), then to France, then to the United States. Manual Lozano, the father, was unable to locate the child to initiate legal proceedings and seek a return until well after a year had passed.

Unless you have been spelunking for the past few months, you know that there is something pretty major going on in Utah right now.

A federal district court invalidated the state's ban on gay marriage and refused to stay the decision until the Tenth Circuit could hear the case. The Circuit Court also denied a stay, leading to an estimated 1,000 gay marriages being performed in the state before the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and stayed the lower court's decision pending the Tenth Circuit's expedited appeal.

Judicial restraint. It's a concept that makes us all feel warm and fuzzy. Judges don't go too far, or reach unnecessary conclusions in a case, because that's the way it should be, right? Repeat after me: judicial activism is bad. Narrow holdings are good.

Except, imagine where marriage equality would be if the Court just said what it seemed to want to say. (The parties would certainly save on filing fees.)

When Lawrence v. Texas was decided, and laws criminalizing consensual sodomy were found to be unconstitutional, Justice Scalia famously warned that bigamy, incest, bestiality, and gay marriage would follow. In Windsor, he warned that the Court's opinion, striking down the definition of marriage found in the federal Defense of Marriage Act, would lead to the demise of state laws prohibiting gay marriage.

"As the State Supreme Court read [the Indian Child Welfare Act], a biological Indian father could abandon his child in utero and refuse any support for the birth mother--perhaps contributing to the mother's decision to put the child up for adoption -- and then could play his ICWA trump card at the eleventh hour to override the mother's decision and the child's best interests. If this were possible, many prospective adoptive parents would surely pause before adopting any child who might possibly qualify as an Indian under the ICWA."

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl's holding was unambiguous. Justice Alito, writing for the majority, held that the Indian Child Welfare Act did not apply to situations where the biological parent had waived his rights pre-birth, and had never taken responsibility before contesting the adoption. The Court vacated the South Carolina Supreme Court's decision mandating a return of Baby Veronica to Dusten Brown, the biological father contesting the adoption.

There were no winners in this week’s Adoptive Couple decision. On one side, you have a biological father, who despite not taking responsibility initially, has fought for the right to raise his then four-month, now four-year-old child, and has done so since the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in his favor, citing the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.

On the other side, you have the adoptive couple, which supported the biological mother, emotionally and financially, throughout her pregnancy and delivery. They also raised the child initially, and are ready, willing, and eager to take responsibility for the young girl.

In between, you have the dictionary and the plain text of the relevant statutes, which together, point directly in the adoptive parents’ favor.

Supreme Court to Address International Custody Battle Wednesday

Custody disputes are typically state court matters, but the Supreme Court will consider Chafin v. Chafin, an international child custody dispute, on Wednesday.

Jeffrey Chafin is a U.S. Army sergeant who lives in Alabama. Lynne Chafin is his Scottish ex-wife who resides in Glasgow. Lynne and the couple's daughter have lived in Scotland, apart from Jeffrey, since 2007 due to the Jeffrey's job with the military. In 2010, Lynne moved stateside to try to save her marriage. When the couple failed to reconcile, she decided to return to Scotland.

That led to an international custody battle.

Granted: Supreme Court Child Custody Case to Consider Mootness

Supreme Court cases often seem removed from our daily lives. We may not like the outcome of a prison strip search case, or agree that grand jury witnesses should receive absolute immunity (even when they lie), but most of us can’t imagine ourselves being personally affected by such decisions.

So most people — lawyers excluded — tend to ignore what happens in the Court. (The healthcare case was a rare exception.)

A Supreme Court child custody case, however, is likely to grab the attention of families and family law practitioners alike.

SCOTUS to Consider Posthumously-Conceived Children in Astrue

While most of our attention this week has been dedicated to the individual mandate challenge, the Supreme Court granted cert on Monday in a Social Security benefits case that has also been generating buzz.

In Astrue v. Capato, the Supreme Court will decide whether a child who was conceived after the death of a biological parent, but who cannot inherit personal property from that parent under applicable state intestacy law, is eligible for Social Security survivor benefits.