North Carolina GOP petitions to intervene

Timothy Kincaid

October 9th, 2014

The Republican majority in the North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives have filed a brief arguing that the ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was denied certiorari by the Supreme Court, does not apply to their state. Because those crazy liberals in Virginia made concessions in court that the Republicans in the North Carolina legislature would never make, therefor their ban on same-sex marriage – unlike everyone else’s – should be upheld.

They are being represented by John Eastman, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, who ran Attorney General in the Republican primary, winning 34%. Eastman is not exactly the most persuasive of legal minds and his involvement is likely to be an advantage to marriage equality proponents. You may recall him from his unbroken string of colossal losses in NOM’s battle to defy state political donor laws.

Should the judge write a big giant F in red ink across the face of their brief, they alternately want to be granted the right to appeal any ruling for marriage to the Fourth Circuit (who already ruled for equality), to the court en banc (good luck with that) and to the Supreme Court (which has already denied cert from this circuit).

Bose in St. Peter MN

October 9th, 2014

Quite the arc to this story, in my book.

It’s possible, if not probable, that NOM was running thin on the kinds of $500/hr attorneys that could carry them at the Supreme Court when John Eastman was installed as Chairman of the Board. Eastman, a fully-employed law professor, replaced Maggie Gallagher, a fully-salaried staffer at NOM, three years ago. He could not only take the reins on a court challenge here and there, he could pull together cheap or free research and paralegal hours from his law students.

And yet, NOM never presented itself as a legal powerhouse, ready to raise funds or resources for anti-equality fights in the courts, or even wedding vendors. On top of that, Eastman hasn’t represented his skills in appellate courts well, even in lower-level fights over NOM refusing to comply with campaign finance disclosures.

So now, confronted with an earlier than expected, yet not entirely surprising, result from the Supremes, NC politicians are leaping to collaborate with Eastman. Never mind the reports that this tardy Hail Mary pass is unlikely to succeed, that Eastman’s recent track record is spotty, that NOM has not fared well in any court, that Eastman is desperate enough for attention to donate the first $10K of his services and charge a discounted rate after that.

I.e., Timothy, you nailed it… thanks!


October 10th, 2014

Weeks before an election, it is clear pandering, especially on the part of state House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is running against Democrat Kay Hagan for Hagan’s Congressional Senate seat. Tillis is under the false impression that the vast majority of North Carolinians support the Amendment, when the numbers, at best, show moderate support or an even split. ( Indeed, this is likely a move to make state Republicans look good in the eyes of an increasingly disgruntled populace.

However, word is that Judge Osteen is not willing to give them an extra week to figure out their case. The speculation is that, since they will have nothing new to bring to the table, Osteen may even reject their attempt at intervention, and settle the case.


October 10th, 2014

Our enlightened Republican leaders have stepped in. Their brief contest that Baker v. Nelson still has precedent and standing. It looks like that is their only argument against overturning the ban. Otherwise, they are still hopeful it will be overturned on appeal.–21950.pdf


October 10th, 2014

Sorry, I meant to say “*upheld* on appeal”


October 15th, 2014

The Judge in this case finally ruled. He condemned the amendment, but said the GOP leaders could appeal. We may finally hear them do more the spit and sputter with this case. It is just a shame that the tax payers are paying to have the 4th and SCOTUS reiterate the permanence of marriage equality here.

[NOTE: I had accidentally sent this to the Spam folder when I was trying to delete other spam comments and my phone app crashed. My apologies. — Jim B]

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