November 26, 2013declined to rule initially in the case, saying that the issues should proceed to trial on February 25.
The new filing requests the judge to hear the legal issues in two parts: the first part would consist of presentation of evidence related to the constitutionality of same-sex marriage and adoption, including trying the rational bases for the ban and other issues. The second phase would consist of trying issues related to the level of judicial scrutiny required for laws that classify people on the basis of sexual orientation. The plaintiffs believe that a heightened level of judicial scrutiny should be applied, based on the four factors commonly associated with heightened scrutiny. The defendants believe the most lenient rational basis review applies. The level of scrutiny applied in the case could be meaningful to the end result, or it could end up being irrelevant, so the request suggests that the second part “of the trial would proceed only if the Court determines that further proceedings are necessary or appropriate” after the first part concludes.
The Michigan trial is only one that will take place next year: Pennsylvania’s anti-gay marriage law will be reviewed in a June trial as well. The case is DeBoer v. Snyder.
Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for this filing