The New York Times this morning assesses the rising tide of lower court cases headed to federal appeals courts and, finally, the U.S. Supreme Court on the question of state laws that discriminate against gay people. There’s a forecast of a case before the Supreme Court by 2015.

The article notes same-sex marriage cases that have already reached circuit court consideration. It predicts conflicts between the circuits that would require Supreme Court resolution. Ironically, the 5th Circuit based in New Orleans is seen as an outlier on the march to equality. This would be a sad reversal of that court’s pivotal role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Nothing much is cooking — yet — in the 8th Circuit, which includes Arkansas. An old case in the circuit is a bad precedent, but precedents are tumbling all over. A pending federal challenge in Arkansas district court will move forward after a decision in a suit challenging Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriage in state court.