U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is heading for the exit, but before he goes, he has some good news for gay and lesbian couples.
Holder recently announced that he'd be stepping down from his job as soon as a replacement is found. Under his leadership, the Department of Justice took an active roll in advocating for LGBT equality. When Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act went before the Supreme Court in 2013, Holder's DOJ filed briefs arguing that the U.S. Constitution requires marriage equality.
In an interview with NBC News, Holder called his work on civil rights among the most important of his tenure and identified marriage equality as "the civil rights issue of the day." He also observed that public support for marriage equality continues to grow.
He also predicted confidently that the DOJ would continue to take a lead role on marriage equality. The Supreme Court is likely to consider at least one marriage case in its current term, and Holder expects the Department of Justice to file a similar brief to the one submitted in 2013.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear which case -- if any -- the Supreme Court might take up. Seven petitions are currently ready for the justices to accept, and they could announce a decision any day now. But some additional lawsuits are drawing closer to the court is states like Missouri, Idaho, Hawaii, Tennessee, Michigan, and more. That means that we could be in for several more months of delay if the Justices want to wait until some other case has a chance to reach them.