Court sitting in Melbourne is hearing two challenges to the validity of the proposed postal survey that could lead to legislation on marriage equality. Follow updates through the day

Postal survey in the balance

Follow today’s other events in Australian politics with Katharine Murphy

The queue is building outside the Commonwealth Law Courts building. The high court has opened two rooms, a main courtroom on level 17 and an overflow room on level 8, to accommodate all the public interest.

Half an hour queue to get into the High Court today, hundreds here for #SSM postal survey challenge.

If you’ve just come up the stairs at Flagstaff, congrats, you’re now in the High Court queue. #SSM

Word from the legal eagles:

The Applicants only need to succeed on one of their three arguments for the postal vote not to go ahead. https://t.co/4RvSd5YYqp

It is surprising that matters have come to this. The normal path of making law about marriage is a simple vote of Parliament. Instead, conservatives have promoted a more radical option that clashes with Australia’s traditions of parliamentary democracy. The non-binding, non-compulsory process run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is unique in Australian history.

The vote is also constitutionally adventurous because it has twice been rejected by Parliament. This leaves the government open to the attack that it lacks the legal authority to conduct the survey. Nothing in the submissions put by the Commonwealth to the High Court alters my view that the survey will more likely than not be struck down.

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