Late last night, the ACLU of Pennsylvania announced that Federal Judge John E. Jones III will release a decision in Whitewood v. Wolf by the end of the day today.
Judge Jones was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed in 2002. He is a member of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania based in Harrisburg. Unexpected for a Bush appointee, he is most prominently known for striking down the Dover Area School District's intelligent design curriculum in public schools. Kitzmiller (2005).
Because of that particular ruling and the trend in federal courts, most court watchers expect another victory for marriage equality. The ruling will possibly be stayed and appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit based in Philadelphia. However, Pennsylvania is also litigating against Clerk Hanes at the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and being sued in two consolidated cases set for hearing on June 18. Those cases could be decided before an appeal is finalized in federal court.
For tomorrow's announcement, the ACLU will host rallies in four cities.
There is no telling which one will be the largest, but the court is based in Harrisburg and Philadelphia is the state's largest city.
- Philadelphia - North side of City Hall at 5 p.m.
- Pittsburgh - 5800 block of Ellsworth at 7 p.m.
- Erie - Perry Square at 7 p.m.
- Harrisburg - Capitol at 6 p.m. <====== I will be attending this one.
An unstayed ruling for the plaintiffs will place Pennsylvania as the 21st state to issue licenses, the final state of the Northeast, and the only one to issue them presently without statewide protections for LGBTs against discrimination. It will also be the 26th state to have marriage equality or a judicial order to do so, making it at last a majority of states.