Sixth Circuit asks Michigan same-sex couple to respond to state’s request for initial en banc hearing
April 8, 2014
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has asked the same-sex couple who filed the lawsuit challenging Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban to respond to the state’s request for initial en banc hearing.
Michigan officials had earlier requested an initial en banc hearing, which is a request for the appeal to be heard initially by all Sixth Circuit judges, instead of a three-judge panel. The state pointed to several reasons it might be more beneficial to hold a hearing with all the appeals court judges: they argued it would promote judicial economy, and that, since all states that fall within the Sixth Circuit have marriage equality cases pending there, an initial hearing that results in a decision by all Sixth Circuit judges would avoid confusion.
The other marriage cases in the appeals court will likely be heard by random three-judge panels, meaning that different cases could come out differently, within the same circuit. Instead of allowing that confusion, the request suggested, all Sixth Circuit judges should decide the Michigan case, and the outcome would be binding in the entire circuit.
The response from the Michigan couple is due April 21.
Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings
For more information on DeBoer v. Snyder from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.