OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Stage set for landmark gay marriage ruling

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Monday evening here in Washington and we're thankful the reporter caught texting during the national anthem at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner over the weekend wasn't either of us. #putyourphonedownfortwominutesyouwontdiewepromise.

While that firestorm wages on Twitter, here's what else is happening.

 

THE BIG STORY

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case that could pave the wave for gay marriage in all 50 states.

The case, Obergefell v. Hodges, asks whether states are required to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and whether states have to recognize same sex-marriage licenses from other states under the 14th Amendment.

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The justices' refusal to take up the issue until now, some court watchers suggest, is a good indicator that it will become a legal right for all citizens since so many couples have already lawfully been able to marry.  

"I don't think they are going to say, just kidding, or throw the country a curve ball now," said Neil Siegel, a law and political science professor at Duke University Law School.

Same-sex couples are appealing a decision from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. The court has grouped the couples' appeals together and will hear two and a half hours of arguments on Tuesday morning, 90 minutes more than the court typically allows.

Gay rights advocates, who have compared the fight for marriage equality to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, argue that the 14th Amendment of the Constitution provides them equal protection under the law to marry.

Religious leaders, however, say states have a right rooted in tradition to limit marriages to unions between one man and one woman.

Those predicting a win for gay marriage supporters point to the court's 5-4 ruling in 2013 that the federal government cannot deny benefits to legally married couples. The opinion struck down federal restrictions under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples in states that recognize same-sex marriage. 

The court, in another 5-4 holding, avoided ruling on the merits of California's ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, saying it did not have legal standing. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the swing vote, dissented from that decision and said the court could have ruled, suggesting to some that he would decided in favor of gay marriage. 

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will mark up a chemical reform bill. http://j.mp/1PNPuoD

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing looking at the role of judicial review in the regulatory process. http://j.mp/1DE9UIY

Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersLawmakers celebrate 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote The GOP's commitment to electing talented women can help party retake the House McCain and Dingell: Inspiring a stronger Congress MORE (R-Wash.) will hold a press conference to discuss her new bill aimed at rolling back the Food and Drug Administration's controversial menu labeling requirements. 

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama Administration will publish 215 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to watch for:

Dairy cows: The Department of Agriculture is considering a new rule that would allow dairy farmers to transition dairy animals into organic production.

The proposed rule would allow farmers to make this transition once. Any animals introduced into production after that would have to be managed organically starting in the womb or sourced from dairy animals that already completed their transition into organic production.

The public has 90 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1J4BhiZ

Deposits: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) wants the public to weigh in on whether banking institutions that have a large number of deposit accounts  - more than two million – should be required to insure those funds if the bank were to fail.

The insurance would be to ensure that depositors have access to their money in a timely manner, which is typically within one business day of a bank failure.

The public has 90 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1OwOx6N

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Gay marriage: Religious leaders are demanding that the Supreme Court's liberal justices recuse themselves from a gay marriage case it will consider Tuesday. http://j.mp/1HPPkf1

Congressional paycut? A Democrat is proposing to cut lawmakers' pay during government shutdowns. http://j.mp/1KoSdlj

Attorney General: Loretta Lynch becomes the first African-American woman to lead the Department of Justice. http://j.mp/1OZmF6d

Postal drones: Lawmakers are scoffing at the notion of the U.S. Postal Service using drones to deliver mail. http://j.mp/1EKrPU4

Agent Orange: Senators are pressing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to grant benefits to post-Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange. http://j.mp/1EKseWH

Television: The Republican senator who oversees the court system is calling on the Supreme Court to allow television cameras to broadcast proceedings. http://j.mp/1HPScbK

Ethanol mandate: A majority of Americans support requirements for petroleum companies to blend ethanol and biodiesel into their fuels. http://j.mp/1bxkCcG

 

BY THE NUMBERS

37: The number of states that allow gay marriage, including Alabama where there is a temporary order prohibiting licenses from being issued.

13: The number of states that have same-sex marriage bans.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's about time this woman is being sworn in," said Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGiuliani meets with former Ukrainian diplomat to get info on Dems Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery MORE of Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Biden said Lynch was "cut from the exact same cloth" as former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEric Holder: 'There are grounds for impeachment' in Mueller report Prosecutor appointed by Barr poised to enter Washington firestorm Dems struggle to make Trump bend on probes MOREhttp://j.mp/1OZmF6d

 

We’ll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and@wheelerlydia.

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