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New Mexico Supreme Court to hear two hours of arguments in same-sex marriage case on Wednesday

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

New Mexico Supreme Court building. Attribution: Wikimedia Commons
New Mexico Supreme Court building. Attribution: Wikimedia Commons
The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a challenge to the state’s marriage statutes on Wednesday, October 23, at 9AM. The case will focus on whether state laws addressing marriage apply only to opposite-sex couples, and whether the statutes are constitutional under the state constitution’s equal protection clause.

New Mexico doesn’t expressly ban same-sex marriage. There’s no constitutional amendment addressing marriage as in other states, and there’s not even a statute explicitly excluding same-sex couples from marriage. Some counties have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing the lack of a ban. The state attorney general has said that New Mexico law requires the recognition of only opposite-sex marriage, though he has also said the laws are unconstitutional and his office has opposed a ban in court filings.

The arguments Wednesday will be two hours long, according to a scheduling letter filed by the court clerk. The first hour, the parties will address statutory issues, presumably whether or not state statutes actually ban same-sex marriage. The second hour, the parties will address the constitutional issues invovled in the challenge. According to reports, the session will be live streamed with audio and video. A ruling is not expected immediately.

Update 7PM ET The schedule with time allotments is here.

Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for posting this letter

NMSC #34306 – Scheduling Letter by Equality Case Files


NMSC #34306 – Oral Argument Schedule by Equality Case Files

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