By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two cases at the center of the battle over same-sex marriage are headed for the Supreme Court.

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The justices will review an appeals court ruling that struck down California’s ban on gay marriage in addition to hearing a case on the issue of whether Congress can deprive legally-married gay couples of federal benefits that are otherwise available to married people.

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Penn Professor Seth Kreimer says this will give them an opportunity to address a broader set of approaches, but he notes that they left themselves a way out.

“The questions on which they granted review, include questions that could allow the Supreme Court to decide that neither of the cases is actually technically appropriate for hearing. Both raise questions about the standing of the parties before the court.”

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The cases will likely be argued in March, with decisions expected by late June.