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At least one marriage in Indiana will be recognized

Timothy Kincaid

July 2nd, 2014

amy and nikiLast Wednesday, Federal District Judge Richard Young ruled that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the US Constitution. After several marriages took place, on Friday the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the ruling until appeal can be heard.

The status of the marriages that took place in the interim is uncertain. But one couple’s marriage has caught the attention of the courts and merited special treatment.

Earlier this year, before determining the constitutionality of the law, Judge Young had made an emergency ruling on the marriage of one couple, Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney. Quasney has been fighting ovarian cancer for five years and may not be able to continue the battle until after the legal process has been completed.

When the Seventh Circuit stayed Judge Young’s marriage rulings, it put Sandler’s and Quasney’s marriage back in limbo. But, as did Young, the Appeals Court has recognized the severity of the situation and made exception. (IndyStar)

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the state to recognize the same-sex marriage of one Hoosier couple.

Tuesday’s ruling came at the request of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who is terminally ill. They are among the couples who had filed lawsuits earlier this year challenging the state law than bans same-sex marriage and the recognition of gay marriages conducted legally in other states.

A three-judge panel from the federal appeals court in Chicago ordered the unique recognition for the Munster couple a day after it announced plans to expedite the appeal of U.S. District Judge Richard Young’s ruling last week that found Indiana’s ban unconstitutional.

This is an act of mercy. But it also tells us something of the mind of the court.

Yesterday’s ruling gives a clear indication that at least this panel of judges expects that marriage equality has proven its merits and will prevail at the Circuit Court level.

I am also beginning to wonder if the Supreme Court will even hear the matter of marriage. Should all of the Circuit Courts come to identical conclusion, which seems increasingly likely, there would be no legal conflict nor perhaps a need for SCOTUS to take up the issue.

Comments

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Rob
July 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Even if all the circuits agree, trust and believe the 4 most conservative justices will vote for cert. Scalia will want to write a scathing bigoted dissent about the homosexual agenda co-opting the judiciary. Alito will also write a dissent about how new same sex marriage is and how by requiring the government to treat gay couples equally, the Court is oppressing conservative Christians by implying they are bigots.

Eric Payne
July 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Timothy writes:

I am also beginning to wonder if the Supreme Court will even hear the matter of marriage. Should all of the Circuit Courts come to identical conclusion, which seems increasingly likely, there would be no legal conflict nor perhaps a need for SCOTUS to take up the issue.

But, Timothy, that’s not the way it works.

As long as their is a “loser” in the Circuit Court, there is the possibility of appeal before SCOTUS. It’s completely the decision of SCOTUS what cases they choose for cert — that is, what case(s) they decide to hear. Every Circuit Court could reach the identical conclusion in similar cases! which means hearing just one, and reversing the lower Court ruling in just that one, would reverse the lower court rulings in all of them, even, possibly, those in which the lower court ruling has been established as law.

For instance, New Jersey and Pennsylvania did not appeal their marriage equality losses in Court. If Utah were to appeal the 10th Circuit ruling and win… SCOTUS will have set the national standard of states being allowed to exclude same gender couples from marriage, unless the language specifically limited the ruling to Utah.

If the did that, but didn’t limit the ruling to Utah, both Pennsylvania and New Jersey could have their court rulings set aside, erasing marriage equality in those states, since SCOTUS’ ruling would apply to every state. If SCOTUS made such a ruling, they’d give themselves an auto out for responsibility — any state which legislatively enacted marriage equality could have marriage equality, and have those marriages recognized as valid by the federal government.

After Kennedy’s concurrence in Hobby Lobby, and his willingness to see Christian religious values trump some aspect of civil law, I’m far less certain of a positive outcome of another marriage equality case that lands in front of SCOTUS — especially a case out of Utah, where Christian dogma, however “cultish” other Christian denominations views LDSers, has been intertwined with government affairs since before its creation of a state.

Rob
July 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Eric Payne,

You’re right about Pennsylvania, but New Jersey was decided on the basis of New Jersey state law. An adverse federal ruling wouldn’t reverse equality in New Jersey, even if it would in other states.

Larry Gist
July 3rd, 2014 | LINK

I would like to make on small correction to your post: marriages began immediately in Marion County (Indianapolis) after ruling. Clerk Beth White had been anticipating the ruling coming down in our favor for weeks and issued a tweet seconds after the ruling that the Marion County Clerk would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Jake Miller and Craig Bowen then went on to become the first same-sex couple married in Indiana. At last count there were over 600 marriages in Indiana state-wide before the stay was issued. There is one sad story that a couple was in between getting their marriage solemnized then on their way over to the other office to file when word of the stay came through and they were unable to file the license.

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