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Oregon officials ask Ninth Circuit to dismiss NOM’s appeal as moot

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Oregon State Seal
In a new filing, Oregon officials are asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss an appeal filed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) as moot. NOM had attempted to intervene in the case in district court, and their request was rejected. They then appealed that rejection to the Ninth Circuit, and asked for an emergency stay, which was denied.

After the stay was denied, the district court judge ruled in favor of the same-sex couples who are plaintiffs in the case, striking down Oregon’s ban. State officials have said they will implement that decision, and they have no intention to appeal it.

According to the filing, that’s enough to moot the appeal: “Here, the underlying litigation is complete, and no party will appeal. Therefore, because this court can grant NOM no effective relief, it should dismiss its appeal as moot.”

The state argues that “there is simply nothing left for this court to do” in the case.

Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings

164 Comments

  • 1. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:17 am

    That case is dead, stuffed, mounted on the wall. It ain't coming back to life now. Does NOM have nothing better to do now?

  • 2. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:19 am

    […] USA, Oregon: In related news, the state is asking the appeals court to dismiss NOM’s appeal altogether. full story […]

  • 3. ragefirewolf  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Indeed. NOM really literally has nothing better to do. They're cooked.

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Not dead… it's probably pining for the fjords

  • 5. Lee  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:22 am

    When the money stops flowing into the NOM coffers then they will cease.

  • 6. Walter  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:27 am

    NOM never had a chance with this action. They are smart enough to know that. This was an effort to rile up the troops to bring in more money through donations.

  • 7. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Obviously somebody has more money than brains. NOM has delivered nothing in a long time, and their one claim to fame, anonymity, is quickly disappearing in Maine. The donors are expected to be made public next month.

  • 8. Lee  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I'm curious who the 2.4 million dollar donor is. My bet is that it's money from another PAC funded by the Mormon Church or the Hobby Lobby' owners.

  • 9. Lee  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:34 am

    “The only things being thrown "into the ash heap of history" are people like Perkins, NOM and their weak arguments based on personal animus against gay people. The days of making a paycheck by viciously opposing our right to marry the person we love are swiftly coming to a close.”

    The follow press release is from http://www.frc.org/pressrelease/pennsylvania-fede

    Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to a federal judge's ruling striking down Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act. Judge John Jones III wrote that laws affirming natural marriage should be discarded "into the ash heap of history."

    Of the decision FRC President Tony Perkins said:

    "Judge Jones ruling has no basis in Supreme Court precedent, and lacks any foundation in the text of the Constitution, or in the history or traditions of our country. Instead, he substituted his own personal dogmatic ideology as he proclaimed that any recognition of natural marriage should be thrown 'into the ash heap of history.'

    "What is inevitable is that male-female unions will continue to be uniquely important to society. The only question is whether Government will acknowledge that fact or attempt to deny the truth about marriage.

    "Oddly, Judge Jones made reference to reading the 'tea leaves' of the Supreme Court's Windsor decision. Shouldn't we expect judges to read the Constitution and the law – not 'tea leaves?'

    "Marriage is rooted not only in the history of man, but also in his very biological being. Nature and Nature's God cannot be usurped by the edict of the courts. Just as the country has never accepted the Supreme Court's declaration of a 'right' to destroy unborn human life in Roe v. Wade, we will never accept the Court's assertion of a 'right' to change the definition of our most fundamental social institution. The courts can ignore natural law, or even suppress it, but they will never succeed in subduing it," concluded Perkins.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/20/1300771/

  • 10. Craig  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:38 am

    How on earth can you build a successful movement based on anonymity? You can't. It's actually a kind of anti-movement that closets its own supporters. Quite a part from the outcome and whose side you're on their performance in Oregon was a disgrace quite simply put. If they have any role or meaning they would step in and intervene in a state like Oregon where the State is opposing the ban on marriage. If they can't get it together there then our opponents could put their money elsewhere to greater effect.

  • 11. Lee  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Here’s a nice MSNBC article about how “the sense of inevitability surrounding same-sex marriage rights has turned the federal judiciary into something of an informal writing contest, with judges competing to write the most memorable ruling striking down state bans on same-sex marriage.” http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/judges-engage-writing-

  • 12. Corey from Maryland  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Any idea when the Ninth will rule on this NOM mess?

  • 13. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Isn't there some insanely rich bigot clown in Idaho that also funded one of the GOP candidates in 2012? Forget his name but he already has griped about his $B corporation suffering when he got found out.

  • 14. Rose  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:45 am

    If Maggie can admit defeat, why can't the rest of the anti-gay bigots? There arguments are surrounded by procreation irrelevancy and allowing one group of individuals their right to marry will NOT change the other group's right to marry or procreate………..and because we allow the fundamental right to marry for infertile women, sterile men and women past childbearing years to marry……this makes the entire procreation argument an irrelevant issue because NOT all couple's can naturally procreate and you CAN'T hold one group to a different standard!

    We have the entire West Coast except Alaska….we have now the entire North Eastern area……..and what we need mostly now is the RIGHT question to be asked to SCOTUS regarding specifically that Marriage is in fact a Fundamental Right regardless of gender make-up……..once that question has been asked and answered…….we will have ALL 50 States in my opinion and this epic battle is coming to a final resolution within the next couple of years.

  • 15. fiona64  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:47 am

    But then Brian Brownsuit would have to get a real job …

  • 16. Scottie Thomaston  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:50 am

    No clue. There will probably be a response first.

  • 17. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:57 am

    NOM didn't need a successful "movement". They just needed a successful business model, however transient that may be. Anonymity was the one thing standing between the money and the willingness to spend it on discrimination. The age-old key to business success is often described as "find a need and fill it". It worked for a little while.
    In the end, they were nothing but money launderers.

  • 18. Michael Grabow  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I am happy to continue reading them!

  • 19. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:09 am

    My favorites not mentioned in the article, were:
    1. "That's so Gay" by Judge McShane in Grieger/OR. (the gay judge, no less!!!)
    2. Plastering Mildred Loving's quote on page 1 in Bostic/VA. The Judge might just as well have stopped right there, signed her name, and said "there's not much more that needs to said". ("Marriage in Virginia", The Sequel)
    3. The Happy Adoption Day poem by Judge Friedman in DeBoer/MI.

  • 20. Rich  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:12 am

    I suspect we are going to find that the Catholic Church has a significant role in funding the 2009 endeavor.

  • 21. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:20 am

    The local Maine Diocese already fessed up to around $500K for that. They got so much blowback that they decided to sit out the second round when the initiative passed in 2012.

  • 22. Eric  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Maggie didn't really admit defeat, she merely admitted that she is shifting focus. The money is now in "religious freedom" battles.

    There is good money in exploiting people's sincerely held superstitious beliefs.

  • 23. TPAKyle  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:35 am

    It's been noted already that NOM received much funding from the Catholic Church in Maine. What has not been discussed is the fallout from all of the ultimately unsuccessful (for NOM) financial support.

    Since 2009, the Portland Press Herald has run a constant stream of articles about the closing of many Catholic parishes in Maine. Essentially, funds necessary to maintain the parishes were diverted to the marriage fight. This served to as catalyst to the closings.

    Moral of the story: bigotry is expensive and has unintended results!

  • 24. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:40 am

    and it allows the churches a veneer of respectability which they sacrificed in the marriage debates. But some of them have a long road back.

  • 25. Corey from Seattle  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Just once I want to see the courtroom scene play thus:

    "Your honor, we believe that being forced to make a cake for a gay customer violates our client's religious beliefs."

    Judge whips out copy of Bible. "What page did you find that on? I don't remember that."

  • 26. Rose  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Ugh:(

  • 27. TKinSC  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I'm ok with this.

  • 28. Steve  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:48 am

    They never in for the long haul. It's also important to remember that for a lot of the head honchos it's not even about the success of their own organization. It's just about miking as much money out of it for themselves while it lasts. Everyone of them makes several hundred thousand Dollars per year! Then if the funds dry up they can just leave and get hired elsewhere. That's what Maggie Gallagher did. Contrary to what is sometimes said, she is still active in the anti-gay fight. Just less visible. But still filling her bank account.

  • 29. Steve  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Also a "let's a troll Scalia" contest

  • 30. sam  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I wouldn't hold your breath, there'll be colonies on Mars before the 9th decides on anything.

  • 31. grod  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Maine's Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices on May 28 '14 will consider their Investigative Report on NOM's 2009 activities and will approve actions to be taken, including a $52,250 (p 32) "In spite of spending more than $2,000,000 to influence the Maine referendum and co-managing the political campaign, NOM never registered with the Commission or filed a single report of its financial activities in 2009 "….. "The information obtained in this investigation directly contradicts NOM’s public rationale for not registering – that it does not 'designate' contributions for any specific electoral activity." p 37 http://www.maine.gov/ethics/pdf/1InvestigativeRep… Note: the 14 donors are not specifically identified.

  • 32. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Yup, NOM has nothing better to do, so….. they will just keep doing this. Cuz that's how they roll. I just find it baffling that their donors still haven't realized that for quite a long time now, NOM has been completely ineffective and has done nothing more than soak up some cash from donors to pay the salaries of its own staff.

  • 33. grod  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Clarification: "including a $52 250 PENALTY"

  • 34. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:07 am

    So, as usual, he's a damned liar. Neither Judge Jones nor the ruling says that. The ruling has no effect on any marriages other than those of same sex couples.

    Lying to the press and the public about what a judge and his ruling say isn't a good way to win friends in the court in any future trials, mister Perkins.

  • 35. Quest  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:11 am

    How does this fine help to expose the nasty, shady, lying, cheating, vulgar Christian industry that financed the discriminatory vote?

  • 36. jdw  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Yeah, the Loving quote at the top of Bostic was awesome.

    Totally agree on McShane quoting his son in Grieger.

  • 37. Michael Grabow  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Court date set for Florida.
    http://www.watermarkonline.com/2014/05/20/court-d

  • 38. Mike in Baltimore  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Why are you OK with this, TK?

    Are you in that "i'm still in the closet" state of mind right now, subject to change when the clock ticks to the next hour?

  • 39. jpmassar  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

    According to Mary Meeks, an Orlando attorney who is a member of the legal team fighting to legalize same-sex marriage, the motion for summary judgment has been set for hearing July 2.

  • 40. bayareajohn  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:59 am

    'e's just stunned….

  • 41. jpmassar  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Has any same sex couple gotten married in Pennsylvania since the ruling came down yet?

  • 42. Lymis  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:03 am

    There simply has to be more to it. Even if that is just some insanely rich person throwing away money on a personal crusade, there has to be more. We know NOM gets it money from a tiny handful of major donors, we know NOM is not only losing, but showing no signs whatsoever of ever turning this around.

    So whoever is paying for this has to feel they are getting something out of it – whether it's fuel for the Tea Party, or something.

    It can't actually be about marriage, or they'd have given up on NOM and put their money somewhere else.

    What I can't see is what it might actually be about.

  • 43. Lymis  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I agree. Maggie's "admission of defeat" was a "come spend your money over here" advert.

  • 44. JayJonson  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:05 am

    NOM is basically a money laundering scheme. People give money to churches and other "charities" for which they get a tax deduction. Then the "charity" bundles those donations and gives it to NOM. When we give money to a group fighting Prop 8 or to HRC, our donation is not tax deductible. In effect, through the tax breaks they opponents of equal rights get, we wind up subsidizing those who oppose our rights, while we also have to donate money to secure our rights.

  • 45. bayareajohn  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:09 am

    This one appears to be the fake TK, the registered one (all caps in his name) is the real troll. This one is trolling the troll, which isn't an improvement.

  • 46. Lee  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Harvey Milk would have been 84 tomorrow, May 22. The Post Office is releasing a commemorative Forever stamp on Harvey's birthday Another favorable ruling on his birthday would be really beautiful.
    [youtube pzQ3NFXwpV8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQ3NFXwpV8 youtube]

  • 47. Sam  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Lawsuit now in Montana, the Dakotas are looking lonely.

  • 48. Michael Grabow  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

    No word from Corbett yet? The day is coming to a close…

  • 49. Michael Grabow  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Yes!

  • 50. Sam  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:22 am

    That said, they both have the same surname, so perhaps they are already gay married?

  • 51. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I believe the Commission said they already have a list of the donor names and are only waiting until their formal review of the report on 5/28 before releasing them.

  • 52. Retired_Lawyer  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

    What we need is a writing contest for speed among the Judges of the appellate courts. We could take up a collection for the prize: an oil portrait, suitable for hanging in a courthouse, of "Nino" Scalia, clutching his heart.

  • 53. bayareajohn  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:34 am

    There's a belief that very public losses, demonstrating the court's disdain and unfairness to "traditional" (read TEA PARTY/Religious) values will cumulatively support a groundswell revolt. Playing the victim is hoped to stir more anger and fear, and thus more support.

    That belief should be shaken spectacularly since last weekend's 30 million predicted turnout in DC to overthrow the government was closer to THREE HUNDRED. Only a 10,000% error in estimating the size of their base.

  • 54. Michael Grabow  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Great!
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/

  • 55. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I can't see it, either, but people have all sorts of angry itches to scratch. Doesn't make them rational. If you have tons of money you can afford to not be very picky about where you spend it. I suspect the only thing anyone is likely to get is vengeful satisfaction or score settling, nothing tangible. Or they could just be deluded.

  • 56. Steven  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:44 am

    AND support 7 kids lol……….

  • 57. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Yeah that was good, too, no doubt to be continued. And it was augmented with sound effects in the OR hearing. When the court's PA system suddenly let out a natsy screech, McShane looked up at it and said "that was Scalia".

  • 58. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:51 am

    That's just sad for those churches. They could've taken the high road, stayed out of the civil marriage fight, and stayed "in business." Instead, they ran themselves into the ground. I'm not unhappy though, not in the least. It's about time they paid for what they've done to LGBT people.

  • 59. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Such schadenfreude I have. Every single person on that donor list deserves to be outed and shamed by their peers.

  • 60. Zack12  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Many churches in NY have taken a hit as well and rightfully so.
    They can spend all this money fighting equality for LGBT people but they couldn't do it for child abusers?

  • 61. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:58 am

    And the success of that business model was to get donors to keep handing over the cash and feel comfortable not being "outed" as long as possible. Considering the law is against them in this endeavor, they did a pretty good job. From 2009 until next week, the Maine donors have remained anonymous. That gave them FIVE years to keep doing this with anonymous donations. I hope now they'll be forced to expose their bigots without any delay.

  • 62. Stefan  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Corbett will not appeal!!!
    http://www.towleroad.com/2014/05/pennsylvania-gov

  • 63. Ragavendran  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Eh? From the bottom of the article:

    UPDATE: The ACLU has deleted the above tweet – stay tuned. Perhaps they jumped the gun.

    UPDATE: The Washington Blade's Michael Lavers tweets that Corbett's press office told him the governor is "still reviewing" the decision.

    Developing…

  • 64. brandall  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Towleroad just stated the announcement by the ACLU was deleted…something's up.

  • 65. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    That decision has apparently been stayed pending appeal by Corbett's staff :)
    follow the link…

    Of course it's a circus!

    "Pennsylvania Governor Corbett says he will NOT appeal yesterday's ruling by a federal judge striking down the state's ban on gay marriage, the ACLU reports.

    UPDATE: The ACLU has deleted the above tweet – stay tuned. Perhaps they jumped the gun.

    UPDATE: The Washington Blade's Michael Lavers tweets that Corbett's press office told him the governor is "still reviewing" the decision.

    Developing… "

  • 66. brandall  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    AP (via ABC) just posted Corbett will NOT appeal
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/pennsylvania-g

  • 67. DaveM  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Official word: http://www.pa.gov/Pages/NewsDetails.aspx?agency=P

  • 68. brandall  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    In a statement released on Wednesday, Corbett said:

    "I have thoroughly reviewed Judge Jones' opinion in the Whitewood case. Given the high legal threshold set forth by Judge Jones in this case, the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal. Therefore, after review of the opinion and on the advice of my Commonwealth legal team, I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones' decision.

    "As a Roman Catholic, the traditional teaching of my faith has not wavered. I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. My duties as Governor require that I follow the laws as interpreted by the Courts and make a judgment as to the likelihood of a successful appeal.

  • 69. Ragavendran  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Here's why he's really not appealing:
    http://fox43.com/2014/05/21/auditor-general-corbe

  • 70. Rick  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Was AP (via ABC) using the now deleted ACLU announcement?!

  • 71. sam  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Money (and trying to save your own political ass) talks. Still, great news for the guys in PA!

  • 72. brandall  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Towleroad just updated again with the confirmed announcement. I don't know what the back and forth was all about, but it's forward and onward now. Whew!

  • 73. jpmassar  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Does Corbett not appealing really mean anything? He wasn't a defendant, right? Presumably the actual defendants could still appeal and ask for a stay. Is Corbett playing a game here – saying he won't appeal but knowing the defendants will?

  • 74. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I'm just…wow. This is shocking. Congrats PA!

  • 75. Rick  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    "Since June 2013 the Corbett Administration has spent at least $588,000 tax dollars for outside legal counsel in an attempt to maintain a ban same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania."

    What a great use of taxpayer money that was!!! So now in the fall election Corbett will have the worst of both worlds: claiming to save money by not appealing will only beg the question as to why he wasted so much money to defend it in the first place!

  • 76. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    That would blow up in his face if it looked like he was playing games. With this statement, one can safely presume that other state executive agencies will fall in line. He's speaking for the state as Governor. Anything else would be ludicrous and make both him and PA the laughing stock of the country.

  • 77. Craig  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I have the sense that it's over. If neither the AG nor the Gov. appeal then I kind if think that's that. I very much doubt it's a game. There may be a loophole whereby a lower official has standing and appeals but they won't be able to avail themselves of an emergency stay and possibly no kind of stay if they try their luck. Interesting that the Gov believes the chances of success on appeal are low as that is a factor in evaluating whether a stay should be granted (i.e. in future cases).

  • 78. brandall  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Additional comments by the PA Governor:

    “Throughout the debate on this important and meaningful issue, I have maintained that Commonwealth officials and agencies would follow the provisions of Pennsylvania’s marriage law unless or until a court says otherwise. The court has spoken, and I will ensure that my administration follows the provisions of Judge Jones’ order with respect for all parties.

    Read more: http://fox43.com/2014/05/21/governor-corbett-will

  • 79. John  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    His administration was a defendant; the named defendant was the Sec. of the Dept of Health who is an appointee. Corbett had been supplying counsel when the AG backed out.

  • 80. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Yeah, I don't really see much room for shenanigans here. It would involve one of the Dept of Health defendants to "go rogue," or at least appear to do so. That would NOT look good for Corbett.

  • 81. Guest  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    He's way down in the polls and up against a strong Democrat in the 2014 midterm, that's why he is not appealing he knows it is a losing battle. The GOP's "fiscal conservatism" is a joke.

  • 82. Michael Grabow  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I said yesterday I didn't want to assume we'd have a case before the 3rd circuit!

  • 83. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Now we may only have one if the US Virgin Islands gets involved.

  • 84. KarlS  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    People waging a "moral" crusade know that if they ever lose the 'war', they're out of a job. Also if they "win" it.
    They might be vile hypocritical bigots but they know which side of the bread has the butter (it's the edge).

  • 85. brandall  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Yes, you did.

    And this raises a question that I don't know the answer to. If every Appeal's court rules to uphold their lower courts rulings, then there would be no conflicts among the district courts. When one of these is appealed to SCOTUS, could they simply decline to hear the case and allow all of the rulings to stand (this assumes we continue the current winning streak)?

  • 86. KarlS  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    That looks pretty damn official to me…….

  • 87. Michael Grabow  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    He's like someone bidding at an auction "I told myself I wouldn't go over $600,000!"…except that the money is spent even if you don't win…and the money wasn't your own.

  • 88. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Yes of course. They can always decline to hear any case for whatever reason.

  • 89. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    No, one of the plaintiffs legally changed her name so she and her partner now have the same name, but they have not legally married (yet). There are also three other couples as plaintiffs.

  • 90. sam  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    I was referring to North and South Dakota having the same "surname"…

  • 91. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Indeed. That $588,000 could have been spent on some really nice 911 services or paid for quite a few police officers salaries, etc.

  • 92. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks, Lee!

  • 93. sam  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Tbh they can do what they like, they could take a case even before there is any split. It's not like it would be the first time they have gone against their own established principles.

  • 94. grod  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Dave: Being an Easterner, I follow these developments. I'm amazed that you are better informed than me. Note – The Commission has agreed not to identify donors by name in this investigative report. The donors’ identities would have to be disclosed in campaign finance reports if the Commission determines that NOM must register and file reports as a ballot question committee – as is recommended.. footnote 5 p 10 and p 32. Given that NOM has had trouble complying with earlier requests, they likely will have trouble here as well.

  • 95. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    ah, got it.

  • 96. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Yes, and it's likely that this is what they would do. If marriage equality is achieved one circuit at a time, and all the circuit courts agree, SCOTUS can simply decline to hear an appeal from the defendants who might request a SCOTUS appeal, and that would be the end of it. They could simply conclude that there's no pressing issue that must be resolved that the level of SCOTUS and they may never need to make a nation-wide ruling.

  • 97. Craig  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I suppose my question was kind of the reverse of Baker. If the law in the area becomes settled and agreed upon (that is a very big if) what is to be gained by SCOTUS taking a case – the law has already coalesced following Windsor. In that eventuality we would find out after the fact that Windsor was a much more powerful ruling than widely believed at the time (and that Scalia was right on this). Of course SCOTUS can do whatever they feel moved to do for whatever reason. For instance the Windsor justices might be happy to rely on Windsor but the Court as a whole could defer to the Chief Justice if he was wishing to write the pro marriage equality ruling – which he might. All usual caveats apply however….

  • 98. Craig  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Well that's kind of my point. NOM has inadvertently made donating to its cause something inherently shameful, shady and underhand that you do on the sly and hope no-one ever finds out. Not that any different model would give different results.

    And I am genuinely interested in the release of the illegally withheld names.

  • 99. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Building a short-term business model is much easier than building a long-term one. They failed at the latter.

  • 100. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    …. so you're saying that donating to NOM is making a political contribution "on the down-low"? : ) Yup.

  • 101. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Let's not forget that even Scalia forcefully called the bigots out for their anonymity regarding Ref. 71 signatures. He may as well have called them "pussies" to their faces. I wish he had. It's what they are.

  • 102. brandall  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for the insight.

    SCOTUS would have to remember Utah and lift their stay. One piece of paper. How ironic if it were Utah (I went to BYU).

  • 103. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I think it's exactly what they want to happen. Most of these bans are falling on rational basis. I don't think SCOTUS (or at least Kennedy) feels the need to make this the big case for LGBT people, involving a higher scrutiny, as most though it would be. They'd be thrilled if every circuit in the country did away with all bans without them having to touch it. It's probably unlikely though, I bet the 5th would uphold the ban if only just to get it to SCOTUS for finality.

  • 104. BenjiCA  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I hadn't thought of this. It does seem like a chicken way out of not having to take on the case, though. I'd like to hope that all the circuits agree, but I do have reservations about the 5th circuit (has Mississippi, but does have Texas) and the 11th (has Alabama). Especially in the 11th circuit, where Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is the one who is loudly and publicly proclaiming that same-sex marriage is destroying the foundation of America. I wonder if Moore's mores are shared by the circuit judges (kind of "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"), or are the circuit judges more independent thinkers.

  • 105. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    But besides Alabama it does have Florida, which is a swing state, and Georgia which is heading in that direction. Not sure of the makeup of the court though.

  • 106. sam  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    The stay in Utah expires once the 10th Circuit rule on the appeal.

  • 107. OctaA  |  May 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Currently the 11th circuit is made up of 6 Democrats (3 Clinton and 3 Obama) and 3 Republicans (One for each Bush and one Ford). It also has 3 vacancies.

  • 108. José  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    What? It seems to me I´m reading a priest in his southern church…thousand miles from civilisation. Hahahaha.

  • 109. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    That's accurate, actually.

  • 110. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Yes, the scenario of SCOTUS declining to take up any requested appeal and simply letting it all be resolved at the circuit court level, one circuit at a time, is only possible IF all of the circuits rule the same way.

    And while that scenario is possible, I think it's at least 50/50 that one of the circuits will fail to uphold a lower court ruling, which will give SCOTUS good reason to take an appeal and issue a ruling to undo the situation of having different circuits ruling that these laws are and are not unconstitutional depending on where you live.

    Because regardless of what SCOTUS believes about civil marriage laws, they would not let a 'circuit split' just remain in effect indefinitely. They would resolve it.

  • 111. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Sounds promising, actually. Anyone know where those vacancies are on the to-do list?

  • 112. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Not indefinitely, no. But let's say these circuits chime in in our favor: 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th. And the 5th against. They could deny cert in all those cases even with a split, knowing that a few years down the road they could get a challenge out of the 1st (Puerto Rico) or 3rd (US VI) to resolve the issue. Now, I doubt that would happen, but it's possible. Anything seems possible really.

  • 113. Eric Koszyk  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    None of us should down vote any of them. Nor should we respond to any of them. They'll all get bored and go away.

  • 114. Background Gal  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I think you mistakenly think trolls will behave like reasonable people. They don't. Trolling is the high point of their empty life.

  • 115. OctaA  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    There were 4 vacancies as of recently, the Senate confirmed Robin Rosenbaum for one of the vacancies on May 12th.

    Of the remaining 3 vacancies, there are 2 nominees, who were nominated February 2012 and December 2013. They both had hearings in front of the Judiciary Committee on May 13th.

    Not sure when the vote will be.

  • 116. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Agreed. Still, it's much more likely that TKinSC at least would just go away if no one responded to him or talked about him. I'll make this the last time I do so.

  • 117. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Roy Moore is a certified loon. I don't think hardly anybody wants to get in his boat. Any Fed circuit judge who does is seriously tainted.

  • 118. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    …. I'm having trouble figuring out what your comment is referring to… Can you remind me – who is Ray Moore?

  • 119. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Roy Moore is the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (elected), and he's a complete wingnut. He makes evangelical proclamations on a regular basis. Here's an example: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/05/roy_m

  • 120. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Yikes. OH well, it will be entertaining to watch him twirl like a dervish when he rules against ME and his ruling is subsequently overturned.

  • 121. Bruno71  |  May 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    He's an Alabama state court judge. Don't foresee any marriage equality cases going before him. But I'm sure he'll have a very public ballistic reaction to an 11th Circuit or SCOTUS ruling for Alabama.

  • 122. Ragavendran  |  May 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Here's an article that discusses just that possibility:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/j

  • 123. Rev. Bill Markland  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    The last minute actions in Oregon also seem like they could be an attempt by NOM to distract their donors from the criminal allegations against NOM that were publicized on the very same day in Maine.

  • 124. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Even better.

  • 125. sfbob  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    One of the current nominees, for a district court judgeship in GA, is a real stinker. His name is Michael Boggs. In his prior legislative life he was staunchly anti-equality, anti-civil-rights and anti-choice. His nomination came about because he has the support of both of Georgia's (Republican) Senators and was part of a group of nominees that the administration was trying to get bi-partisan approval on, but Democrats in the Senate may not vote to confirm him.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/19/1300405/

  • 126. Warren  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    So, PA is the 18th state and Oregon will be the 19th state plus Washington DC that has legalized same sex marriage. What a great week!

  • 127. sfbob  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    While there are some advantages to this happening (certainly from the cowardly perspective of the current Supreme Court) on a realistic basis a piecemeal approach will maintain a situation where married couples traveling into an anti-equality state can suddenly find themselves considered legal strangers. If something unfortunate were to happen that could create a really messy situation.
    I'll pose a hypothetical here. Let's presume a lesbian couple is traveling through an anti-equality state with their child. One of the parents is the biological mother. Let us suppose they get into a car accident and the biological parent dies. Will the state refuse to release the child to the custody of the non-birth-parent? Even if the non-birth parent were to bring a lawsuit it could result in the child being separated from the only living parent he or she knows for some extended period of time while things play out. Why would anyone want this sort of situation to exist even as a possibility? But if marriages suddenly disappear when a couple crosses from one court jurisdiction to another, it's a scenario that can't be ignored.

  • 128. JayJonson  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Moore is held in contempt by the federal judiciary, as well as by his fellow members of the Alabama Supreme Court.

  • 129. Rose  |  May 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Oregon is the 18th and Pennsylvania is the 19th, as I understand it because the ruling in Oregon went into effect on Monday and Pennsylvania yesterday or early today!!!

  • 130. Dr. Z  |  May 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    That's backwards, Oregon came before Pennsylvania. But both are from from the crop of 2014 so why quibble.

  • 131. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    IIRC In his first stint as AL Chief Justice, Roy Moore became famous for installing a giant Ten Commandments monument in front of the courthouse (or perhaps inside it). After much flurry and anguish a Federal judge ordered Moore to remove it. Moore essentially told the judge to go F himself. An AL judiciary review board removed Moore from his position on the court for blatant contempt. Literally lost his job! Then I stopped paying attention.
    If he's now back, I can only assume the good people of AL reelected him. Are they really *that* dumb?

  • 132. Steve  |  May 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    He also called for the imprisonment and execution of gay people. During a custody case between a lesbian couple.

  • 133. SeattleRobin  |  May 22, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Moore seems really confused about what Islam is, its beliefs, and its roots. Any state should be embarrassed to have such an ignoramus on their highest court.

  • 134. Deeelaaach  |  May 22, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Calling anyone a pussy is denigrating to women. I find it offensive.

  • 135. Michael Grabow  |  May 22, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I ask this 100% seriously because I've had a conversation about this before and you brought it up here…do you have the same feelings about a person calling someone a "d*ck"?

  • 136. ebohlman  |  May 22, 2014 at 11:24 am

    The former term usually involves putting down a man by comparing him to a woman, which implies something negative about women. The latter term doesn't involve such a comparison; the metaphor doesn't "reach out of" the affected group.

  • 137. ebohlman  |  May 22, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I've often thought that what it might actually be about is overturning or neutering campaign-disclosure laws; NOM has challenged them practically everywhere it's spent money and even though they've lost every time, they've refused to comply and suffered no real consequences.

  • 138. Eric  |  May 22, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I agree, if NOM has to disclose their members, their funding will dry up. If they lose with bogus arguments in court, they can blame Satan and ask for more money.

  • 139. Michael Grabow  |  May 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I understand that. I was asking their opinion because the person I spoke about with this was offended by both.

  • 140. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Sorry for the offense. I had never really thought of it as referring to women, more as to a "pussy-cat" or "fraidy-cat," but obviously I was being naive in that regard. I'll refrain from using it again.

  • 141. FilbertB  |  May 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Well, that is quite right, well said …and you would not need a traffic accident. It is also possible that in a messy break up of a relationship and custody battle one parent could take the child to an anti-equality state. Where does that leave the other parent? Even if that parent is not the biological parent, I do not think I need to describe how wrenching that could be. Your example shows how marriage bans for same-sex couples negatively affect children. Inside the legal contract of marriage are important legal protections and a framework for all children. Marriage equality bans hurt families and children in many ways.

  • 142. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Yes they really are that dumb. Or deluded. They think they live in a "Christian Nation" when in fact they live in a secular nation with a Christian majority. They don't understand that there is a HUGE difference.

  • 143. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    My vote's for dumb. You have to be dumb to succumb to such reprehensible "Christian""morality." (I love scare quotes now.)

  • 144. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Absolutely, 100%, yes.

  • 145. bayareajohn  |  May 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Impartiality does not require soullessness. Justice served with gusto is still justice. Fairness isn't diminished by enthusiasm.

  • 146. Deeelaaach  |  May 23, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Yes. I can't remember the last time I called someone that. Maybe in elementary school? High school at the latest most likely. I'm not sure I even used it then, but I have to leave the possibility open.

  • 147. Deeelaaach  |  May 23, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Thank you.

  • 148. Michael Grabow  |  May 23, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Down vote? That makes absolutely no sense. Why wouldn't you just reply with whatever is on your mind?

  • 149. Michael Grabow  |  May 23, 2014 at 6:46 am

    That is very interesting to me. Just to be clear, I wasn't asking if you used the term, or if you think others should, just if you thought its use was denigrating to men. I associate it with nothing other than "jerk" or harsher terms of the like.

  • 150. Michael Grabow  |  May 23, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Asking a legitimate question gets a thumbs down? You are strange, whoever you are.

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