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Alabama Supreme Court orders probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

The Alabama Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited ruling in a petition that asked the Court to stop county probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In a somewhat meandering decision, the state supreme court granted the petition with only one dissenting judge.

After determining that they have jurisdiction over the petition and the petitioners have standing to be in the state supreme court, the justices proceeded to discuss the merits of marriage equality: “After careful consideration of the reasoning employed by the federal district court in Searcy we find that the provisions of Alabama law contemplating the issuance of marriage licenses only to opposite-sex couples do not violate the United States Constitution and that the Constitution does not alter or override the ministerial duties of the respondents under Alabama law.”

The justices looked at Windsor and all of the federal decisions striking down the ban and disagreed with their reasoning. (It’s unclear how they’re able to reach the merits, since that wasn’t addressed in the petition.)

Ultimately, the court ordered all probate judges to stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples, and they added all probate judges to the petition to make sure they comply: “The named respondents are ordered to discontinue the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Further, and pursuant to relator Judge Enslen’s request that this Court, “by any and all lawful means available to it,” ensure compliance with Alabama law with respect to the issuance of marriage licenses, each of the probate judges in this State other than the named respondents and Judge Davis are joined as respondents in the place of the “Judge Does” identified in the petition.”

Probate judges not specifically named in the petition will have five days to file papers telling the court why they should not be bound by the order.

Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis will have to file a brief on whether he’s bound by the federal district court order in Searcy and other cases.

Couples will still be able to sue in federal court for the right to get married in the state. They can also ask to be added to an existing lawsuit.

Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) weighs in: “The Alabama Supreme Court just issued its ruling in the mandamus action. The Court not only granted the mandamus action filed by the two private groups, but reached out to hold that Alabama’s marriage ban is constitutional, which no party had asked them to address. It is deeply unfortunate that even as nationwide marriage equality is on the horizon, the Alabama Supreme Court is determined to be on the wrong side of history. The Court’s action displays a callous disregard for the impact of this gratuitous decision on same-sex couples and their families, but those families should take heart that this is only a stumble along the way toward equality. They have already forever changed the history of their state. The only question is not whether marriage equality will return to Alabama, but how quickly.”

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

162 Comments

  • 1. DACiowan  |  March 3, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Apologies to Phil Ochs:

    And here's to the judges of Alabama
    Who wear the robe of honor as they crawl into the court
    They're guarding all the bastions of their phony legal fort
    Oh, justice is a stranger when the plaintiffs report
    When the gay man stands accused the trial is always short
    Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
    Alabama find yourself another country to be part of!

  • 2. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    By ordering all the probate judges to immediately cease issuing SS licenses, the AL Supreme Court is asking for a showdown with the Federal Courts. Months ago, I joked we could see the National Guard in the state of George Wallace. We are inching closer to seeing same-sex couples being escorted into a county courthouse. How sad.

  • 3. flyerguy77  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/alabama_… in the article one of plaintiffs attorneys said, they can't do anything unless there are new plaintiffs…

  • 4. jpmassar  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Fascinating. Disgusting too, but fascinating.

  • 5. Silvershrimp0  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    The court is putting the world on notice that the state will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

  • 6. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    "I don't really think that they can do that. I'm not surprised, but I'm somewhat appalled," said David Kennedy, one of the lawyers who represented the Mobile couple who successfully challenged Alabama's same-sex marriage ban. "The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the stay (on the order striking down the gay marriage ban) would expire on Feb. 9. On Feb. 9, same-sex marriage effectively became legal in Alabama."

    "Appalled" doesn't even start to describe this action. My 2 cents.

  • 7. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Can Holder and the DOJ get involved since Roy Moore, et al, just ordered officials in AL to defy a federal court decision (and the US Constitution in the process)?

  • 8. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Yes, once SCOTUS has reviewed and denied any further action. The DOJ could go from waiting for someone to file a formal complaint, other intermediate threats or take action on their own based on the Federal Court stay. Of course, they would need to know there are probate judges willing to defy the AL SC.

    Our side needs to stay focused on the AL SC stay and ignore the overall decision which will be resolved in June anyway.

  • 9. Zack12  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Keep in mind Roy Moore recused himself from this hearing.
    The other judges on this court are just as bigoted as he is, they simply didn't show it until now.

  • 10. Sagesse  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    It's Alabama.

  • 11. Zack12  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I read the ruling and when mentioning the same sex marriages performed, the bigots on this court put quotation marks around the word marriage.
    That tells you all you need to know about where they are coming from.
    It's bigotry, plain and simple.

  • 12. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Why bother to recuse yourself Moore? You are the ringleader and everyone knows that. I'll make a comment I've never targeted to anyone….I hope a house falls on you and your mangy little dog too! (but I want the dog to not get hurt and find a happy new home).

  • 13. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Can anyone tell me which of the justices wrote this order? At the end of the order, it says, "Stuart, Bolin, Parker, Murdock, Wise, and Bryan, JJ., concur." But I cannot find where it is acknowledged who wrote the damned order. Anyone?

  • 14. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    I'm not sure I agree with "ignore the overall decision which will be resolved in June anyway" – gay couples in Alabama have a confirmed constitutional right to marry. Every day that right is denied them, they suffer because of it.

    A SCOTUS order, whatever it will be, is 4 months away. I think it would be a huge mistake to let the AL supreme court get away with this crap for more than one day.

  • 15. DACiowan  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    A per curiam decision will not list the main author, since it is considered to be the joint work of all the judges in concurrance.

  • 16. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I also do not see where this order has been stayed. Any probate judge in AL who believes s/he should issue marriage licenses to all couples who qualify for them has five days to petition the AL supreme court and plead her/his case. But nothing anywhere in the order (that I have found) stays the order.

  • 17. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you for that explanation.

  • 18. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    "Yes, once SCOTUS has reviewed and denied any further action."

    By this, do you mean someone needs to appeal this order from the AL supreme court to SCOTUS?

  • 19. flyerguy77  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    There are some mix messages says ALA SC can do whatever they want and ignore the federal court??????

  • 20. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Please reread my 2nd sentence. I said we need to insure marriages continue to be performed in AL until the SCOTUS decision. Therefore, they need to deny any stay requests including the one that will now come through the District Court. SCOTUS is not about to take up the AL SC case now and fold it into the other cases that have been granted cert.

  • 21. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    From Scottie's article above: “The named respondents are ordered to discontinue the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Further, and pursuant to relator Judge Enslen’s request that this Court, “by any and all lawful means available to it,” ensure compliance with Alabama law with respect to the issuance of marriage licenses, each of the probate judges in this State other than the named respondents and Judge Davis are joined as respondents in the place of the “Judge Does” identified in the petition.”"

    That is an order that countermands the Federal Court. In my own head, I see the AL SC as trying to "stay" the order of the Federal Court which the 11th and SCOTUS denied.

  • 22. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    They can issue whatever decision they would like and base it on astrology if they are so inclined (and it might have made more sense than what I am reading right now in their "decision"). What they can't do is attempt to thwart the existing Federal Court order which denied a stay (and was backed by the 11th and SCOTUS) and ordered the ban to not be enforced, therefore allowing ME.

    There are two balls in play: 1) their decision, 2) ordering all judges to stop SS marriages. Does that help explain it?

  • 23. flyerguy77  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    omg. I don't know what to think. I have been having a good day until now!!!!!! I need a STRONG DRINK…… thats what I'm doing "going to gay night at a local bar in Redlands CA tonight.. Can federal court do something? Thats the big question needs to be answered..

  • 24. flyerguy77  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    yes, it does but can Federal court do something?????

  • 25. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    That interpretation makes sense. Thank you.

  • 26. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    The District Court can, yet again, strongly advise the clerks, probate judges, et al to follow the court order to avoid additional litigation for "each" violation of every SS couple requesting to get married. The Federal Court cannot "order" the AL SC to comply. This only gets solved by SCOTUS who can issue an order demanding the state personnel to ignore the AL SC. I'm not saying that's what they will do. But, SCOTUS can essentially do anything it wants.

  • 27. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Yes, someone needs to prove "harm" by this AL SC action. I believe all the original Plaintiff's are now married (about 90% sure), so a new couple seeking to be married would need to be denied and immediately go back to the Federal District Court with some kind of evidence (video tape, form was rejected, etc) to get the action going. The Federal District Court would say the court's order was being ignored and issue a motion for the AL SC to stand down. Assuming that is ignored, we do the 11th AC and SCOTUS. One can go directly to SCOTUS, but we don't want to give SCOTUS an exit door that the lower courts were bypassed.

  • 28. Mistahtom  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Nice unprofessional actions there, Alabama Supreme Court. Way to give people confidence in your "blind" system.

  • 29. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you – again. Your explanations have helped me understand what is possible, and what is not. It doesn't make me less angry about it all, but it does help in some other ways…

  • 30. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    You are welcome. I think it is blatantly horrible. About a year ago on EoT, we thought there might a showdown between a state SC and a Federal District court. There were hundreds of comments back and forth on who trumps what. Luckily, it did not occur, but I remember it took a bit to get my head wrapped around how it would work. Now, I'm glad we had those comments/discussions.

  • 31. aiislander  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    This court has gone completely rogue. But it IS Alabama.

    Shaw's dissent was the only lucid part of the decision; however, I would say to Justice Shaw that he should have omitted one word in the last sentence of his dissent: "respectfully".

    The rest of this court deserves absolutely NO respect.

  • 32. Steve84  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    They have absolutely no authority to do this. A federal court supersedes state court in this case.

  • 33. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Correction to my statement above. A District Court cannot issue a motion for the AL SC to stand down. They can "advise" the AL SC to stand down and cite the judicial precedence for such an advisement. Only SCOTUS can order another state SC to cease and desist.

  • 34. Zack12  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I don't think Shaw is a supporter of same sex marriage but even he won't pull this kind of crap.
    The groups that sued have no standing and he and the rest of the court know it.

  • 35. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Which part, the decision or the order for state staff to stop SS marriages? They do have the authority to issue their own independent decision that could be contrary to the District Court. The District Court actually does not have the authority to "order" the state SC to retract its' order. They could, however, "advise" the the state SC that it is in violation of a Federal court order. Only SCOTUS can trump a state SC.

  • 36. Sagesse  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Don't get me wrong… this decision is egregious and disgusting. But, they are somewhat closing the barn door after the horses have bolted. Most of the pent up demand from couples who have waited years and even decades to marry has been satisfied… they have married in their home state or in any of the other 36, and those marriages cannot be undone.

  • 37. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    "The groups that sued have no standing …."

    Indeed! Correct.

  • 38. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    So would a couple being refused the right to marry in AL petition the SCOTUS for an emergency hearing? Or what would the procedure be?

  • 39. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    True – here's a law school's table showing which courts are bound by which other courts: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics/academic-

    Only SCOTUS can override a state supreme court's analysis of a federal issue. So SSM in Alabama is legally halted until SCOTUS rules. Bad news indeed.

  • 40. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Unfortunately, they do. Only SCOTUS can override a state supreme court's analysis of a federal issue. So SSM in Alabama is legally halted until SCOTUS rules. See http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics/academic-

  • 41. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Can't the marriage equality side appeal the decision to SCOTUS as the next level of appeal, and simultaneously request an emergency stay of the AL SC ruling?

  • 42. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Temporarily, it does "undo" those marriages to a certain extent, since same-sex marriages will now go legally unrecognized in Alabama until SCOTUS issues its ruling.

    Although the California Supreme Court ruled that after Prop 8 passed those same-sex marriages that took place before Prop 8 passed were still legally valid, the bigots of the Alabama Supreme Court will certainly not recognize prior Alabama same-sex marriages – they will instead rule that those prior marriages are void by reason of "We don't like them".

  • 43. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Note to all US citizens living in Alabama: Will this mess, just maybe, convince those of you who haven't already to register and vote? And not just in presidential election years, either – every time, in every election…

  • 44. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Well, the federal government, at least, will defy the AL supreme court by recognizing every one of those AL marriages.

  • 45. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    They can, but the Supreme Court is already considering this issue and its ruling will resolve their situation. They are in a similar position as the citizens of other states that don't currently recognize same-sex marriage – stuck waiting for SCOTUS. Millions of people are in that boat already. So SCOTUS is likely to decline their request(s) to intervene.

  • 46. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    They could try that, but the Supreme Court is already considering this issue and its ruling will resolve their situation. They are in a similar position as the citizens of other states that don't currently recognize same-sex marriage – stuck waiting for SCOTUS. Millions of people are in that boat already. So SCOTUS is likely to decline their request(s) to intervene.

  • 47. tornado163  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I don't fully understand. The district court can't order the AL supreme court to undo their decision. But by the same logic, isn't the AL supreme court not allowed to order the federal court to undo its decision?

    Basically, if the federal court ordered a specific probate judge – like Judge Davis who is already under an injunction – to issue a marriage license, and the AL supreme court orders that specific probate judge not to issue a marriage license, and both decisions are based on federal law, then who wins? Both courts are bound by SCOTUS, but neither is binding on each other.

  • 48. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Not likely. The federal government relies on the "valid where celebrated" rule, which means that if the marriage is legally recognized in the place where it occurred, then the feds will recognize it too. So if you married in Boston but live in Texas, the feds will recognize your marriage because Boston does, regardless of whether or not Texas recognizes it. But here, Alabama doesn't legally recognize those Alabama marriages, so the feds won't recognize them either, at least not until SCOTUS rules that not recognizing same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

  • 49. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Only SCOTUS can hear cases from state supreme courts. Does this also extend to all other actions, such as stays or denials of stays?

  • 50. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    And when those marriages occurred, they were indeed "valid where celebrated." (Actually, they still are.) AL did not stop being a marriage equality state. The state's supreme court has made a different decision, and has ordered probate judges to not issue marriage licenses to gay couples, but couples already married before this order was issued are, in fact, married.

  • 51. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Only SCOTUS has the power to issue orders that bind state supreme courts. The type of action does not matter. If it doesn't come from SCOTUS, any state supreme court can just ignore it.

  • 52. flyerguy77  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    So, it sounds like ALA same-sex couples are stuck until June or SCOTUS can order vacate the order if anybody appeals..

  • 53. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    The major difference here is that the SCOTUS already has weighed in on this case by virtue of denying the emergency stay from the federal court ruling. The millions of others were not given a ruling by SCOTUS effectively allowing marriage equality. And I don't think SCOTUS will be too happy with the AL SC just deciding to thumb its nose at them, essentially overruling them and calling their baby (Windosr) ugly in the process.

    While I am not suggesting you're wrong that SCOTUS will just wait to rule in OBERGEFELL, hard for me to say that's just likely given the circumstances.

  • 54. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    The federal government continues to recognize marriages that occurred in MI, even tho the 6th Circuit overturned the MI District Court ruling. (That was announced before the state of MI said it would also recognize them.) AL will be no different.

  • 55. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    The most recent order coming from the state supreme court will be legally binding on the probate judges. Before that order came down, the probate judges had to follow the federal court ruling. Now they have to follow the state supreme court ruling, until SCOTUS rules otherwise. The federal district court can huff and puff but it can't invalidate the state supreme court's order. Nor can the federal appeals court. It's up to SCOTUS now.

  • 56. RnL2008  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    As I read some of the comments, my question is this…….CAN a State Supreme Court overrule a Federal Judge's ruling? Who does the Probate Judge in Mobile follow, the ASSC or the Federal District Judge? Will there be new plaintiffs and new lawsuits? Will Alabama defy the ruling from SCOTUS in June? Will SCOTUS toss us a surprise and change course? So many questions and though I'm shocked the ASSC did this, I'm not overly surprised just because I believe a few of these last states will NEED to be strong armed into following the rulings!!

  • 57. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Denying a stay is exactly what they will do AGAIN. The knife cuts both ways. They will deny stays regardless of how the cookie crumbles, because they are in the process of considering the issue and their final order will resolve the question for everyone everywhere.

  • 58. TomPHL  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    But Alabama has recognized the marriages and although most of the probate judges are not directly bound by the injunction of the district court, the AG and the state government are. I believe that the AG and other state officials would be risking contempt proceedings in the district court if they try to backtrack on recognition.

  • 59. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Again, not suggesting your are not correct. I just have learned nothing is guaranteed at the US Supreme Court. You sound as if you are 100% certain and there isn't another possible outcome. I'd respectfully suggest they could be pissed off at the AL SC for their approach on both standing and otherwise, and say to the hell with you.

  • 60. Dr. Z  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    [Ent'race concludes]

    ACT III.

    [curtain rises]

  • 61. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    The problem with that is that the Alabama Supreme Court can and almost certainly will rule that those prior marriages are void, as a followup to this ruling.

  • 62. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    That won't matter to the feds. It didn't matter to them when MI tried it; it won't matter now.

  • 63. RemC_Chicago  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Hey, Chief Roberts. Tell us again how we've grabbed the political bull by the horns and powerfully brought it to its knees.

  • 64. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    That's a different situation. The 6th Circuit did not rule on whether or not the existing marriages were valid. The federal district court later ruled that Michigan had to recognize the existing marriages, and the state supreme court did not weigh in with its own ruling. But in Alabama the state supreme court will almost certainly follow up its current ruling with another ruling saying that the existing same sex marriages are void. When that happens, the feds will become unable to recognize the existing Alabama marriages.

  • 65. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    We need to separate the constitutional decision from the Federal Courts order to allow marriages in Alabama. I agree SCOTUS will not take on the decision itself, it's redundant with all the other cases at this point.

    But, AL SC's "order" to cease granting new marriages is a different issue. SCOTUS already denied a stay for Alabama. They certainly can do something about that.

  • 66. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Regardless of how powerful they think they are, even the mighty AL supreme court does not get to tell the federal government what to do. Marriages that occurred in AL before this order was issued will continue to be valid in the view of the federal government.

  • 67. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Denying a stay is exactly what they will do AGAIN. The knife cuts both ways. They will deny stays regardless of how the cookie crumbles, because they are in the process of considering the issue and their final order will resolve the question for everyone everywhere.

  • 68. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I'm sorry, there was no AL SC order to invalidate existing marriages. Why are we having this discussion? I apologize in advance if I missed something, but I did read the order.

  • 69. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Don't be sorry. ianbirmingham is trying to make a point, and I am trying to make a different point. Should we both stop?

  • 70. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I'm just gonna say what my first thought was:

    FUCK

  • 71. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    SCOTUS sees bad rulings from lower courts all the time. Only under certain conditions will they do anything about it. Nothing is 100% certain of course, but I'm calling this one as 99.99% certain. They will deny stays no matter what and they will simply make everyone wait for their final ruling to come out.

  • 72. Zack12  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I'm sure he'll point to states like NY and IL and claim it can be done in due time in the red states.
    That is of course completely ignorant of political reality but he used that logic with voting rights, he'll use it on LGBT rights too.

  • 73. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    "CAN a State Supreme Court overrule a Federal Judge's ruling?" – The two rulings can co-exist at the same time. Neither can trump the other.

    "Who does the Probate Judge in Mobile follow, the ASSC or the Federal District Judge? If they are smart, they will follow the Federal District judge. The fines will be enormous for each, separate violation. But, we'll see some Probate Judges hiding behind the ASSC.

    "Will there be new plaintiffs and new lawsuits?" New plaintiffs seeking to marry will join the existing Federal lawsuit.

    "Will Alabama defy the ruling from SCOTUS in June?" Not known.

    "Will SCOTUS toss us a surprise and change course?" Personally, I highly doubt it. They made their decision on October 6th. They have held to the same course (Florida and Alabama) since then. But, it is SCOTUS, so there are no rules.

  • 74. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    No, the AG and the state government are forced to follow the state supreme court's ruling, unless and until SCOTUS rules otherwise. A federal district court has no power to override a state supreme court ruling, not even on a question of federal law. Only SCOTUS can do that.

  • 75. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    "…. AL SC's "order" to cease granting new marriages …."

    That seems to be what the Alabama Supreme Court has "ordered." It says nothing about pre-existing marriages and/or the state's recognition of such (which the various departments and agencies of the state of Alabama have been doing, in compliance with the federal court order, in effect from 9 February 2015).

    "SCOTUS already denied a stay for Alabama."

    Thus, the Alabama Supreme Court's "order" is in direct contravention with SCOTUS' stay denial, also granted on 9 February 2015. The Alabama Supreme Court can not trump SCOTUS on that point.

  • 76. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    The Alabama Supreme Court can and almost certainly will rule that those prior marriages are void, as a followup to this ruling.

  • 77. brandall  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    My first thought: Alabama, why can I not surprised? But, I am disappointed.

  • 78. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    The problem with that is that under our system of federalism, marriage is a state issue, subject only to constitutional constraints. The federal government has to follow the states on this, and the states only have to follow SCOTUS.

  • 79. Zack12  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    From the tweets that Evan Wolfson and others have posted, the marriages performed in the brief window are safe.

  • 80. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    The Alabama Supreme Court can and almost certainly will rule that those prior marriages are void, as a followup to this ruling.

    A stay denial is simply a refusal to get involved. It does not create any kind of legal precedent and is not legally binding on anyone.

  • 81. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    '…. will almost certainly follow up its current ruling with another ruling saying that the existing same sex marriages are void."

    This is idle speculation. It didn't happen.

  • 82. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I can't even surprised neither, shit

  • 83. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Michigan never tried it. The Michigan Supreme Court never got involved.

  • 84. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    No, you're fine. Ianbirmingham should stop speculating about matters that haven't happened.

  • 85. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    They are about as safe as a candy bar in a kindergarten classroom.

  • 86. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    "I'm just gonna say what my first thought was:

    FUCK "

    Wolfie, that's quite a bit milder than my own first thought.

    In fact, I don't even know how to phrase my own first thought, as it's beyond vocalizing in any sort of civilized forum.

  • 87. Zack12  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    So those legal experts are all wrong and you are right?

  • 88. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Mine's honestly toned down as well

    Scheiß auf diese verdammte Wichser und ihre verdammt dumm Gesichter!

  • 89. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    "…. almost certainly will rule that those prior marriages are void, as a followup to this ruling."

    You keep saying that, but that's idle speculation. That hasn't happened.

  • 90. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I agree that as of this moment, the existing Alabama marriages are valid. But given the level of bigotry in the state supreme court, and in Alabama generally, somebody is going to refuse to recognize one of these existing marriages, and when the issue gets to the state supreme court the existing marriages will promptly be ruled void.

  • 91. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    "Now they have to follow the state supreme court ruling,"

    No. The ruling, if one can call it that, begs to be ignored.

  • 92. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Zack, they're elected. It's Alabama.

  • 93. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    There will be no fines, since a federal district court cannot overrule a state supreme court's decision. Only SCOTUS can do that, and they won't rule for several more months.

  • 94. ianbirmingham  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    That would be illegal. The state supreme court ruling, despite being totally bogus, is legally valid and legally enforceable.

  • 95. VIRick  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    "The Alabama Supreme Court can and almost certainly will rule that those prior marriages are void, as a followup to this ruling."

    You keep repeating that same speculative comment over and over, as if you want that to occur. It didn't happen. It hasn't happened.

  • 96. A_Jayne  |  March 3, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    He keeps repeating many things he has said on this thread, in response to multiple comments. It all sounds like his own wishful thinking to me…

  • 97. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  March 3, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    As is the federal district court ruling, which states that the federal constitutional invalidates the Alabama laws and amendments. All you need is one to say the law is invalid, especially if that is given a pat on the back by SCOTUS.

    I have not read this "whoever rules the latest" gets to trump earlier rulings between courts (outside of course of SCOTUS ruling later to overrule a previous ruling).

  • 98. sfbob  |  March 3, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Good work there. I'm old enough to remember when the original song was new.

  • 99. RnL2008  |  March 3, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    How can the rulings co-exist when they are in conflict? I mean what the ASSC did was try and undermine the Federal Government and all I see is a fight a coming!!

  • 100. RnL2008  |  March 3, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    My thought was more like your's than Wolf's only because I read somewhere that the ME folks figured states like Texas and Alabama would need to be dragged into the new century!!!

  • 101. sfbob  |  March 3, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    I agree with others that you are speculating but I do believe you're correct in what you speculate. Or at any rate it's entirely plausible.

    In the long run of course, even if the state decides to void those marriages which have already taken place, SCOTUS is almost certain to undo that "voiding" though it's not implausible that even following a favorable SCOTUS decision come June the state won't continue to insist that only marriages taking place subsequent to the SCOTUS ruling are valid and recognized. Should the state actually insist on doing such a thing it will require any and all of those who were already married to file a new suit. They of course will win but I won't be surprised if the state Supreme Court is sufficiently petty, vindictive and bigoted as to make them go through all of this over again.

  • 102. scream4ever  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:34 am

    We need to petition this to the SCOTUS. They do have the power to dismiss this ruling, if nothing else based on technical issues (not being properly briefed, mis-interpreting Windsor, etc.).

  • 103. flyerguy77  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:37 am

    This really concerns me in many levels.. I have a fear that other "anti-gay" orgs or state officials(no standing in federal court) can ask other states' supreme Courts to stop ssm AFTER the judge, COA and SCOTUS denied their stays… And another thing I thought of if a state's Supreme Court's decision only can appeal to SCOTUS, why did PA, Kansas and South Carolina's Supreme Courts lifted their stays after the federal judges ruled bans on ssm are unconstitutional??

  • 104. flyerguy77  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:46 am

    So ALA SC bashed the windor's decision?

  • 105. flyerguy77  |  March 4, 2015 at 3:05 am

    From SCOTUSBLOG.. It sounds like same-sex couples can't appeal (due to they were not part of the case), but only can file new lawsuits.. I think ALA SC set this decision to make it into a constitutional crisis.. I believe Chief Moore was involved in decision (without naming him in the decision)
    http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/criticizing-jus

  • 106. flyerguy77  |  March 4, 2015 at 3:18 am

    There are confusions with all of constitutional legal experts…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/us/alabama-cour

  • 107. Silvershrimp0  |  March 4, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Those courts weren't so seething in their hatred of gays that they wanted to create a constitutional crisis.

  • 108. JayJonson  |  March 4, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Anyone who expects justice from these political hacks is delusional.

  • 109. Rick55845  |  March 4, 2015 at 5:47 am

    FUCK was my second thought. My first was "figures", because I fully expected that if any state were to pull a "standing in the schoolhouse door" ploy, it would be the same state that gave rise to that expression in 1963. It seems that not much has changed since Wallace's day.

  • 110. TomPHL  |  March 4, 2015 at 5:52 am

    You are correct that the federal district court cannot override the Alabama supreme court. However the Alabama supreme court's ruling has no effect on the federal district court's injunction; it remains in force and the court has the power to enforce it.

  • 111. JayJonson  |  March 4, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Yes, just a convenient rationale that allows him to wash his hands of the matter. "It's not my fault," he no doubt tells his cousin.

  • 112. JayJonson  |  March 4, 2015 at 6:02 am

    I share the anger and outrage expressed by so many on this thread. I think, however, that we just need to be patient. The wheels of justice always turn slowly in this country. I hope that petitions are filed with the pertinent courts, but realistically I doubt that SCOTUS will step in at this point. It will take time to get there and they will make their big point in June.

    Judge Granade will, no doubt, have an opportunity to address this development. I suspect that a few probate judges–those from Birmingham and Huntsville, probably–will petition her to rule that they can continue to follow her original ruling. She will likely allow couples who really want to marry soon to intervene in the continuing suit. She likely will order Davis in Mobile to process the adoption papers for the original plaintiffs.

    However, same-sex marriage on a large scale is not likely to resume throughout the state until SCOTUS issues a definitive ruling. And even then, there will be rougues and renegades in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, and elsewhere.

    The advantage of this craziness is that it reveals what many of us have been saying for a very long time: the political hacks on the Alabama Supreme Court have little idea of the law and no interest in justice.

  • 113. 1grod  |  March 4, 2015 at 6:25 am

    ian: I agree – possibly except in Mobile Co. What impact do you think this will have on efforts to have stays lifted in other states/circuits? G.

  • 114. 1grod  |  March 4, 2015 at 6:30 am

    flyerguy: What is your reading of the use of quotes around marriage in the text? Do you or others think that the AL Supremes will seek to invalidate the marriages that took place post February 9th? G

  • 115. 1grod  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:07 am

    jp – Shaw's dissent opinion is an useful counterbalance. "All litigation concerning the interest of the state, or any department of the state, shall be under the direction and control of the Attorney General." … or "This Court has held that standing must exist at the commencement of the litigation and cannot be cured by subsequently adding to the case a party that has the requisite standing…. Therefore, this Court's recognition and alignment of additional petitioners after the case was commenced [Probate Judge Elsen (p 10)] can not cure the standing problem. He concludes: "I do not see a way for this Court to act at this time. By overlooking this Court's normal procedures; by stretching our law and creating exceptions to it; by assuming original jurisdiction, proceeding as a trial court, and reaching out to speak on an issue that this Court cannot meaningfully impact because the Supreme Court of the United States will soon rule on it; and by taking action that will result in additional confusion and more costly federal litigation involving this State's probate judges, this Court, in my view, is venturing into unchartered waters and potentially unsettling established principles of law." How to square this court's majority opinion with the Governor who on Febraury 23 said: "[I would] never do anything to disobey a federal court's ruling,"

  • 116. hopalongcassidy  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:10 am

    How would that not be an example of an "ex post facto" action?

  • 117. hopalongcassidy  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Along those lines, how do these 2 "private" groups have standing? AFAIK they weren't part of the case either….

  • 118. AndresM11  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:12 am

    This decision is terribly disappointing (though it was totally predictable since they decided to entertain a petition despite clear procedural issues (standing). I can't imagine how Scottie and the rest of gay and lesbian Alabamians must be feeling :(

    I wanted to ask you something since INAAL (the extra A is because I'm not an American lawyer), can any probate judge ask SCOTUS to review this bigoted ruling?. (I've read same-sex couples were not technically part in this mandamus procedure, but I think I saw that the Alabama SC recognized that all probate judges were bound by their decision since they were part of the "Judge does" category) In that case, can an emergency petition for stay be submitted? I imagine this would be the only possibility to halt this nonsense and avert a constitutional crisis other than waiting for the June ruling in Obergefell.

  • 119. RemC_Chicago  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Agree on all of your points, Jay. Thanks. I hope that these kinds of actions will expose the extent, the lengths, to which some people will go to block a minority group from achieving equal status in the eyes of the law. Reading the briefs that have emerged from all of the many cases over the past year or so have been incredibly enlightening. Kentucky's submission to SCOTUS was masterfully done, picking out the Sixth Circuit's arguments one by one and slapping them down. On one side are demonstrations of rationality and clear logic; on the other side are corkscrews. It says much about human nature, about our culture, that these judges feel justified in reaching the conclusions that they have— particularly in light of the well-reasoned arguments that already exist against them.

  • 120. Rick55845  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for quoting Shaw's dissent, 1grod. I hadn't read it. It seems like sound reasoning to me.

    Being pedantic, I observe that he should have said "uncharted waters". There are no waters lacking charter that I'm aware of.

  • 121. hopalongcassidy  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:22 am

    How is "bogus" reconcilable with "valid and …enforceable"?

  • 122. hopalongcassidy  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:23 am

    The court appears to have given not a shit about that.
    <shrug>

  • 123. 1grod  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Rick – we often speculate. We speculated, as did many more legally informed than most of us, that the [majority of ] AL Supremes would not grant interest groups standing. Justice Greg Shaw's concluding remarks suggest imo that Ian's point – that this court's unorthodox attitude/actions found in this judgment opens a door to possible invalidation – is a fair one. [G. Shaw]: :…"I do not see a way for this Court to act at this time. By overlooking this Court's normal procedures; by stretching our law and creating exceptions to it; by assuming original jurisdiction, proceeding as a trial court, and reaching out to speak on an issue that this Court cannot meaningfully impact because the Supreme Court of the United States will soon rule on it; and by taking action that will result in additional confusion and more costly federal litigation involving this State's probate judges, this Court, in my view, is venturing into unchartered waters and potentially unsettling established principles of law."
    However, it may have been you Rick who reminded us that there are visitors to the blog whose intentions are not a pure as regular contributors – why give them ideas. Graeme

  • 124. Sagesse  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Their comments about Windsor are really interesting. They talk about Windsor creating a constitutional right to 'dignity'. If I recall correctly, Kennedy spent a lot of time talking about the 'dignity' ALREADY CONFERRED on legally married couples by the states where their marriages are legal. These couples are bona fide actually legally like everyone else married.

  • 125. Dr. Z  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:44 am

    If the ASC put scare quotes around the word married when used in connection with same-sex couples, then it's more than idle speculation. It's now informed speculation.

  • 126. Dr. Z  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Can SCOTUS stay the Alabama SC decision until they rule in June? If so that would be three balls in play.

  • 127. DrPatrick1  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Correct, it has not yet happened. But Moore has said, repeatedly, that the Federal district court has no authority to require a state judge to do anything. THUS, he has laid out the position that the order was never legal, those marriages therefore are null and void in his view of the law. The legal opinion has not yet been published, but it seems pretty clear what AL will try to do. The only question is if they can accomplish much besides slowing things down before SCOTUS rules.

    I agree with Brandall above: I don't think SCOTUS will take the appeal of the Federal district court's opinion in the AL case, as it is already set to consider these issues. There is no point, at this point, for them to get involved directly with that case (as they have already denied a stay). HOWEVER, it is not clear to me how they would get involved in the AL SC case, but if they do, it is totally plausible that they will give a great big judicial smack down to AL. I can even see the conservative justices, especially Scalia, finding error in the AL SC ruling.

    BUT, they have to have a case properly before them. I don't know who would have standing to appeal this ruling. Perhaps if a "rogue" probate judge continued to follow the federal district court and was found in error by AL SC, then that judge could appeal to SCOTUS. I'm not sure a couple could appeal the ruling. They would have to go back to the Federal district court, ask to be added to the case and get a ruling against the probate judge. Then see what happens.

    This is exactly why standing is soooo important in the US judicial system. When unaffected parties are allowed to interfere in such a way, then who is allowed to appeal? Any Lawyers have an opinion on this. I think it is important for our side to look into this AL SC ruling and try our best to get it to SCOTUS. I can see this being a route of obstruction used post a SCOTUS ruling in our favor. Any thoughts?

  • 128. Dr. Z  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Since the ASC has now made it quite plain that they're willing to make up laws as they go, I think ianbirmingham is probably right. The next move by the Liberty Counsel will be to go back to the ASC and invalidate those marriages, and it seems more likely than not that they will on the grounds that Alabama's DOMA law has been in force the whole time. It's bogus, but when a court goes rogue like this I think they are capable of just about anything.

  • 129. Dr. Z  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Go read what the Liberty Council is saying. They're not finished yet.

  • 130. DrPatrick1  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:03 am

    It is our solemn duty to the generations that follow to document this time. There will be a time in the US, likely not too distant, when such an overwhelming majority of Americans find this time to be so repugnant. We must then remind them what happened, tell our stories, tell our shared history. It is not enough to earn a right, we must protect it.

    Unlike RBG, I don't think the lesson to learn from the Abortion debate is to proceed slowly on constitutional issues. RATHER, I think the lesson is that the public is quick to forget why these rights are necessary. We forget about the women who died from unsafe abortions. We forget about the women who died because their unhealthy pregnancy killed them and they were denied a chance of survival by a safe abortion (there was such a case recently in Ireland). Why can't a judge simply say they won't marry a particular couple and the couple be directed elsewhere (like when the LA judge refused to marry an interracial couple a few years ago)? There are reasons, and we must tell our stories!

  • 131. MichaelGrabow  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I apologize if this has already been brought up, but has there been word on whether any probate judges will continue to follow the federal order?

  • 132. 1grod  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Here is the Council's link – http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=14100&PRID=15

  • 133. Sagesse  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Do you have a link for the Liberty Council comments. I saw a quote that didn't seem to go beyond gloating, but I may have missed something.

    This mess in Alabama will continue until the Supreme Court rules in June. Opponents will jab, the district court will respond (on the Searcy adoption, for example), and the governor and the AG will continue to abstain. Just take a breath and see what these clowns do next.

    Then wait for what happens in Texas if the stay is dropped, and/or the 5th circuit rules. If they choose to, Texas can make Alabama look like a playground.

    This too shall pass.

  • 134. 1grod  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Rick – Justice G. Shaw, in his concluding remarks may be bang on – his Brothers and Sisters judges "can not meaningfully impact [on the marriage status of citizens of this State] because the Supreme Court of the US will soon rule of it".

  • 135. Dr. Z  |  March 4, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Try this link. Scroll down to the quote from Eric Johnson asserting that all those marriages are now in question.
    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/massive_

  • 136. 1grod  |  March 4, 2015 at 9:19 am

    brandall/rick – questioning the validity of marriages as begun by the probate judges themselves. http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2015/

  • 137. RemC_Chicago  |  March 4, 2015 at 9:52 am

    A commentator on the Chicago Tribune said if we didn't like it, we didn't have to go to Alabama, which—he added—we hypocritically and ironically, wouldn't want to visit. I took a minute to point out to him that there were already gay people living and marrying in Alabama and they obviously deserved the same rights. Jeepers.

  • 138. Zack12  |  March 4, 2015 at 9:56 am

    His response would likely be what other bigots have been, if you don't like it, move.
    That is not an option for everyone and even if it was, you shouldn't have to leave a state you weren born in or like because of bigotry.

  • 139. dlejrmex  |  March 4, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I have to wonder if the reason Roy recused himself was one or both of:
    a) Did not want to give people a target to easily remove him from the bench
    b) After the state AG and Gov chose not to contest, if Roy contacted the two orgs to submit a brief to give the ASC a chance to rule. And if that ever came out and he hadn't recused himself, it would have been a neon target.

  • 140. 1grod  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Human Rights Campaign already has requested access to Chief Justice Roy's phone and email record: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/group_seek

  • 141. SethInMaryland  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:15 am

    the fed over shoots state , the lunatics can try all the want but the fed is still the law, those probate should continue to folloe the fed ordor, this in my opinion is the same as roy moore's memo earlier (a blank piece of paper)

  • 142. scream4ever  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Some likely will, and some likely won't. The state supreme court ruling doesn't overrule the federal court ruling so much as they contradict one another.

  • 143. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Alabama still needs to be dragged into the 20th century, since so many in the state are so reluctant to even consider that the South didn't win the US Civil War.

    Once Alabama makes it into the 20th century, then we can work on dragging them into the 21st.

  • 144. guitaristbl  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:46 am

    This is proposterous and the best example of pure judicial activism. They did not only grant standing but ruled on a case not before them in anyway. These bigoted lunatics should be disciplined and judge Granade should immediately enter more orders at the very least to the probate judges of the counties she has authority over.

    This is uncalled for and should lead to protests by every person who not only believes in marriage equality but from every person who believes in the law being followed.

    These rogues judges should be held responsible for their actions.

  • 145. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Not to mention, assigned to work in. I'm sure there are many Federal employees who were assigned to work at the NASA plant in Huntsville (of course, some might want to live in TN [not much better, IMO, than AL] ); the NASA facilities in TX; Fort Leavensworth in Kansas; etc., not to mention the other Federal employees who have been assigned to live there; and all the private companies who have told employees to live in states they would rather not, such as Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Kansas, etc.

  • 146. RnL2008  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Thanks Mike……that made me smile….I just don't get these idiots……they know this is coming whether they like it or not!!!

  • 147. flyerguy77  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I believe that he had a hand in this decision (with reusing himself)

  • 148. guitaristbl  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:37 am

    P.S.1 I will not waste a single minute of my life reading this piece of bigoted garbage from people who had to lick the behinds of every religious bigot in Alabama in order to get elected (once again the very serious problem of elected judges (uncalled for in any part of this world!) rises). I only read judicial opinions and this is NOT one in anyway. From its very existence (deciding a case not before them in a per curiam opinion on a writ of mandamus which they turned to certiorari themselves) to the reason it uses according to what everyone said (putting the marriages of same sex couples in QUOTES and then they dare to question the legal objectivity of SCOTUS in Windsor ? Who ? THESE people !) to uphold a ban that was not before them. The federal judiciary should react immediately, including the dormant 11th circuit.

    P.S. 2 I can't believe that the Mississippi Supreme Court is more liberal (by two justices at the very least) from this fascist christian hellhole that has the audacity to call itself a court.

  • 149. RemC_Chicago  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    High five. Both hands. BTW, are the anti-leaders, the Tonys and the Brians and such referring to the AL SC as "activitist"? No? You sure? Gee, I wonder why…

  • 150. brandall  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    We know from Michigan, Utah, et al. that SCOTUS will not support the position that legal marriages are now somehow no longer legal.

    To ASC or other state judicial entities….If you proceed, you will be subject to enormous "pain and suffering" civil class action lawsuits that half the country's attorney's will take up for a percentage of the payout or pro bono just for the fun of it.

    Some EoT'rs will correctly argue you can't sue just because of a split between the Federal and State Courts. But, that is before we get our hands on the e-mails (both government and PERSONAL mailboxes) and see the collusion that I have no doubt exists. Intentional animus is grounds for a successful lawsuit.

    UPDATE: Another thought. AL, go ahead and try to invalidate the existing marriages. Guess what? You just allowed the Plaintiff's in the Federal case to immediately petition Judge Granade since you violated her SPECIFIC orders. You will have provided an immediate means to petition SCOTUS bypassing the 11th.

  • 151. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Mine was: "Mother fucker piece of shit!" And then I was just at a loss for words for a while, contemplating in my head how unjust and cruel that state Supreme Court is.

  • 152. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Who the hell are the defendants that have the right to appeal in this case then? Agree with you wholeheartedly that there was no proper standing in this case to warrant a verdict, just as the lone dissenting Justice indicated.

  • 153. brandall  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Two words: Activist judges.

  • 154. Zack12  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    There are none.
    These bigoted groups wanted marriage equality stopped and the Alabama SUpreme Court was only too happy to grant that request.

  • 155. 1grod  |  March 5, 2015 at 3:24 am

    Married Feb 28 in Jefferson Co, not able to get certificate http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/alabama_

  • 156. 1grod  |  March 5, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Mobile Co couple finding office closed, goes to Florida.. How does the Court decision effect out-of-state marriage recognition? http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/same-sex

  • 157. jm64tx  |  March 5, 2015 at 4:08 am

    "But there are several anomalies of the Alabama Supreme Court Decision, including standing, their claim to original jurisdiction without state appellate input, and the conflict with federal courts…"

    As far as their "claim" to original jurisdiction, writs of mandamus are always within the original jurisdiction of a state supreme court.

    Also, no state appellate input is required for the State Supreme Court to issue a writ of mandamus, since it is an original proceeding in that court, and not an appeal.

  • 158. TDGrove  |  March 5, 2015 at 4:55 am

    One thing I wondered is whether SCOTUS is able to rule on the standing issue in this case. The issues, from as much of the ruling as I was able to stomach reading, centered on issues that were specific to Alabama state law. That made me uncertain whether SCOTUS has the ability to reverse the Alabama SC on that issue, or whether the Alabama SC has final say on that part of it.

    I'm sure our side will try to reverse this, but I think the Alabama SC just created a de facto stay, since by the time this gets fixed we'll either have or be close to having the Obergefell ruling that ends it.

  • 159. JayJonson  |  March 5, 2015 at 8:23 am

    So glad you responded to such a stupid argument, one I have even heard other gay people make. Not only does everyone deserve equal rights everywhere in the country, but in some sense the people who persevere in unwelcoming places should be especially supported. The argument is a bit like saying that if all the Blacks had just left the Jim Crow states in the 1960s, there would have been no problem with racism. This kind of sentiment becomes yet another way of blaming the victims of oppression.

  • 160. Zack12  |  March 5, 2015 at 8:30 am

    That's how I feel as well.
    Plus as I said here it's not like any of the Blue states welcomed marriage equality with open arms, they were long and ugly fights.

  • 161. 1grod  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    bl – I agree. I do read brief/decisions to better understand the mindset. Suggest you take 5/6 minutes to read Judge Greg Shaw's dissent [at the end]. I will also be interested in reading Mobile's Judge Don Davies' letter brief to the AL Supreme's due tomorrow before 5:00 pm. He is in a tuff spot with two Masters.
    I too wonder why the 11th circuit Appeals panel don't respond. Its hard to appreciate that doing so may only add gas to a smoldering fire. PS 2 – nice observation . G

  • 162. ianbirmingham  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    They can't – a state supreme court is the final authority on the law of that state, including standing and jurisdiction and all the rest of it. SCOTUS can only rule on federal questions. Until it does so, state supreme courts and the lower federal courts are all free to invent & publish their own disagreements on all the federal questions that SCOTUS has not yet resolved.

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