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White House: Obama following gay-marriage cases closely

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Despite the White House’s obvious interest in this week’s Supreme Court hearings on two gay-marriage cases, the president’s spokesman Josh Earnest said he wasn’t sure whether any administration officials will be in the courtroom to watch.

“The Supreme Court doesn’t actually televise the hearings, so it will impact our ability to watch it,” he deadpanned.

SEE RELATED: Gay-marriage backers see public behind them as the Supreme Court weighs the arguments

The Obama administration filed a brief seeking to overturn the state’s gay-marriage ban, known as Proposition 8. The court granted permission for the administration to participate in oral arguments in the case, which are scheduled to take place Tuesday. The administration also challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, enacted in 1996 which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Those arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

After Mr. Obama’s public election-year transition to supporting gay marriage, Mr. Earnest said he has followed the issue closely, as have many others across the country. The interest in the case is obvious, he said, considering the long lines of those outside the high court already waiting for a chance to witness the oral arguments.

“I know that there’s some people who’ve been waiting in line for quite some time already,” he said. “It should make for some pretty good legal theater, if nothing else.”

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Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at

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