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Breaking: Kentucky judge strikes down ban on out-of-state marriage license recognition

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality

Kentucky state sealBig news today out of Kentucky: U.S. District Judge John G Heyburn II has invalidated the state’s ban prohibiting recognition of same-sex couples’ marriage licenses from other states, ruling that the practice violates couples’ equal protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.  The Louisville-based Courier-Journal reports:

Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples, Heyburn said that while “religious beliefs … are vital to the fabric of society … assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.”

Heyburn said “it is clear that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”

In a 23-page ruling, Heyburn said Kentucky’s sole justification for the the amendment was that was it was “rationally related to the legitimate government interest of preserving the state’s institution of traditional marriage.”

The judge’s ruling–which does not require Kentucky to issue its own marriage licenses to same-sex couples–rejected arguments made by the Family Foundation of Kentucky that limiting marriage to different-sex couples encourages ‘responsible procreation.’  In his ruling, Heyburn, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush wrote that “no one has offered any evidence that recognizing same-sex marriages will harm opposite-sex marriages.”

According to an order issued along with the decision, Judge Heyburn will hold a hearing soon to determine the timing of appropriate relief for the couples.

You can read the judge’s opinion below via Scribd.  (H/t to Kathleen and Equality Case Files.)

For more information on Bourke v. Beshear from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.

[scribd id=206725994 key=key-1ab7tue8h0f0yvyddiy2 mode=scroll]


  • 1. Jon  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

    And just to frustrate the NOMbies, he's a Bush1 appointee, recommended to the bench by Mitch McConnell.

  • 2. DrHeimlich  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:34 am

    The final section made this a particularly interesting read. Judge Heyburn spends time specifically answering the "activist judges legislating from the bench" and "this is the end of freedom" rhetoric of the opposition, and deliciously refutes them by pointing out that a famous Supreme Court Justice FROM KENTUCKY praised the Fourteenth Amendment long before a Court majority recognized the wrongs of racism.

  • 3. Ragavendran  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:38 am

    This Kentucky judge, a George H. W. Bush appointee, seems to take a more sympathetic view (than Oklahoma's Terence Kern) of the Supreme Court, defending its slow moving rulings on this issue:

    "So, as one can readily see, judicial thinking on this issue has evolved ever so slowly. That is because courts usually answer only the questions that come before it. Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes aptly described this process: “Judges do and must legislate, but they can do so only interstitially; they are confined from molar to molecular motions.” In Romer, Lawrence, and finally, Windsor, the Supreme Court has moved interstitially, as Holmes said it should, establishing the framework of cases from which district judges now draw wisdom and inspiration. Each of these small steps has led to this place and this time, where the right of same-sex spouses to the state-conferred benefits of marriage is virtually compelled."

    To compare, this is what Oklahoma's Terence Kern said in his ruling. How humble!

    "The Supreme Court has not expressly reached the issue of whether state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage violate the U.S. Constitution. However, Supreme Court law now prohibits states from passing laws that are born of animosity against homosexuals, extends constitutional protection to the moral and sexual choices of homosexuals, and prohibits the federal government from treating opposite-sex marriages and same-sex marriages differently. There is no precise legal label for what has occurred in Supreme Court jurisprudence beginning with Romer in 1996 and culminating in Windsor in 2013, but this Court knows a rhetorical shift when it sees one."

  • 4. Bruno71  |  February 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Brings up an interesting point about interstitial court rulings, because this is something that's not talked about a lot in regards to the SCOTUS justices' desire for "percolation." Sotomayor specifically mentioned that this could (or should) happen "among the states," but doesn't specify it must be through state legislatures, courts, or ballot initiatives. Federal district courts located in states are also part of this equation.

  • 5. JimT  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Meanwhile in Missouri: “Eight gay couples filed suit today against the state of Missouri, charging that its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is discriminatory. The suit is asking the state to validate the marriages of all gay couples in Missouri who were wed in other states or countries where same-sex marriage is legal. The lawsuit does not seek a repeal of Missouri's ban on marriage for same-sex couples within the state.”

  • 6. Bruno71  |  February 12, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I'm not sure about its likelihood of success in state courts. The discriminatory amendment is in place and the Supreme Court of MO recently ruled against us in a more specific case involving survivor benefits. However, they may have brought it to state court because the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled against marriage quality in the Citizens for Equal Protection vs. Bruning case (2006).

  • 7. Matt  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Is that a gay couple on the Kentucky state seal above?

  • 8. Mackenzie  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Intersesting that they are taking a similar route as KY instead of going straing for the ban. Perhaps it is expected to accepted more openly?

  • 9. Mackenzie  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I wonder how likley the MO case is to suceed in the state's court system. It appears the Federal Judiciary is not taking this? I am not fully aware of MO's Constitutional Ban on SS marriage but I fail to see how this was the best move to make as state courts have to follow state and not US Constitution.

  • 10. Ragavendran  |  February 12, 2014 at 11:49 am

    My understanding is that state courts must follow both the State and US Constitution, because when those two are at odds, the US Constitution trumps the State Constitution. In this specific case, I think the defendants might well seek to remove the case to federal court since it involves a substantial federal question.

    With regard to precedent, Wikipedia says: "state courts in the United States are not considered inferior to federal courts but rather constitute a parallel court system. While state courts must follow decisions of the United States Supreme Court on issues of federal law, federal courts must follow decisions of the courts of each state on issues of that state's law"

  • 11. Bruno71  |  February 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    In this case, the state court may look at the case and say that state law (constitutional amendment) conflicts with federal law (Windsor ruling among others). The supremacy clause may take care of that conflict, but the Missouri state courts may feel obliged to follow state law more closely and let an eventual appeal to SCOTUS resolve that conflict. There's a similar case recently started in Florida state courts that will be enlightening.

  • 12. Mackenzie  |  February 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Interesting information. Being from Missouri, I would fall flat on my face if any of the State courts there rule in our favor. I hope I am wrong. I just don't understand the rationale in even risking if a state court has to consider both state and federal law, while fed courts only focus on federal laws. I saw your comment about the 2006 ruling (which I was unaware of, so thanks!) and feel that I would rather take my chances that the 8th circuit has come around in the past 8 years than mess with the state courts.

  • 13. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    So the author of the Wikipedia article is discounting Article VI, Section 2, of the US Constitution, which EVERY state (including the original 13) accepted the validity of when they became a state? You DO realize that Article VI has not been amended at all since the Constitution was ratified in 1788?

    Article VI, Section 2 reads:
    "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

    And the Federal Judiciary is described in Article III, Section 1.

    Are you sure the Wikipedia article was not written by a 'state's righter', but by someone who actually knows the material of which they write? Early on, secondary and post-secondary educators saw that with the ability of anyone (without attribution) to write and/or edit articles in Wikipedia, it was not a reliable source (reference, yes, source, no), and thus initially discouraged it's use, later banned it's use, for writing of papers, etc. Would you trust an article that was written by Regnerus? In Wikipedia, there is no way to tell who wrote the article.

    BTW – If the case is in state court, the decisions of other state courts are mandatory or persuasive (as long as those decisions are within the guidelines set forth by Article VI, Section 2 of the US Constitution). If the case is in Federal court, the decisions of other Federal courts are mandatory or persuasive (as long as those decisions are within the guidelines set forth by Article VI, Section 2 of the US Constitution).

  • 14. John  |  February 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    There is nothing incorrect in the Wikipedia article. States courts are coequal with federal courts. They are not inferior in any way. Federal courts provide binding precedent on federal law, and state courts provide binding authority on state law. If a case on a federal issue proceeds in state court, the state court must observe federal precedent, and the final appeal on any federal issues will rest with the US Supreme Court. If a federal court happens to be dealing with an issue of state law, it must observe the precedents of the high court in that state.

  • 15. Ragavendran  |  February 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Yes, I believe its called the Erie doctrine.

  • 16. Dr. Z  |  February 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I believe appeals to state SC decisions must be made directly to SCOTUS, is that correct? IANAL

  • 17. Ragavendran  |  February 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Yes, I believe so too (IANAL either), though those occurrences are rare. Most notable in the marriage equality context, if of course, Baker. At that time of course, there was still such a thing as "mandatory appellate review", and Baker came to SCOTUS through this route (and not by certiorari), the dismissal of this case set precedent (and is being shoved down our throats to this day).

    For an interesting read on how the mandatory jurisdiction of SCOTUS, over the decades, has all but gone, see this very old article:

  • 18. Ragavendran  |  February 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Sure, Wikipedia is not "binding" or "proof" in any sense. It has grown to become a good *first* source of information to turn to. I don't know who all contributed to the article (it is almost always a collaborative effort and not one single person), but I don't see where exactly the article discounts Article VI, Section 2 in the excerpt that I quoted from it?

  • 19. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    In other words, where it says that Federal courts must bow to state courts, that is not a violation of Article VI?

    State courts rule on state law, but if Federal law is different from state law, a Federal court must obey the state court ruling?

    ". . . federal courts must follow decisions of the courts of each state on issues of that state's law. . . ."

    In other words, if SCOTUS had not ruled, Federal courts would have been required to follow the state courts in cases such as 'Loving'? Remember, the Loving case came up through the Virginia state court system before being appealed to SCOTUS.

  • 20. Ragavendran  |  February 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Ah, I now understand your concern. Yes, that phrase might be interpreted as being incomplete. The phrase, " federal courts must follow decisions of the courts of each state on issues of that state's law" is a blue link in that article. If you click on it, it takes you to the page on "Erie doctrine" which explains in more detail, with references, what that means. Of course, it is not a steadfast rule, meaning, if the federal court deems that the state court has erred in its interpretation of federal law, it should correctly address that, as opposed to simply ignoring it. I think that is what this phrase is about – federal courts cannot bypass state court decisions on issues involving state law – those decisions must be respected (i.e., given due consideration).

    Unfortunately, Wikipedia is not written by lawyers, so the language in it, in many instances, can be ambiguous or legally incorrect.

    Another example is that almost everyone who cites Windsor as saying "States have the right to define marriage" FAIL TO MENTION that in every instance that Kennedy upheld the authority of the states in his decision, he included the phrase "subject to Constitutional guarantees". Whenever I hear someone incompletely quote Kennedy (or The Supreme Court) in defense of state marriage bans, I want to shout out to them that he also mentioned that such freedom is subject to the US Constitution 🙂

  • 21. Deeelaaach  |  February 13, 2014 at 12:44 am

    "Unfortunately, Wikipedia is not written by lawyers, so the language in it, in many instances, can be ambiguous or legally incorrect. "

    If lawyers wrote Wikipedia, no one else would be able to read it as it would be written in lawyer-ese, not English, ending its usefulness as a reference for those of us who aren't lawyers etc.

    OK, seriously now, lawyer input would be welcome, but even lawyers disagree on points of law so that would not end disagreements.

    And that's partly why we are in court now to force the issue. Some say we don't have the right to marry the person we love, and we say we do.

  • 22. John  |  February 13, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    "On issues of that state's law" is the important phrase here. *If* we're talking about a state's law, then the high court of that state is the absolute, final arbiter of that law. That means any federal court interpreting a state law–even the US Supreme Court–must also abide by that state's high court. Here, however, the parties are talking about the meaning of the US Constitution, not a state law. Therefore, the state is not binding authority, and the final appeal would rest with the US Supreme Court.

    Another example might be helpful: The California Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in 2008 based on the *California* Constitution. That decision could not be appealed–no federal court, including the US Supreme Court, has any power over the California Supreme Court on issues of *California* law. If any federal court were called on to interpret the meaning of the California Constitution, it would have to abide by the rulings of the California Supreme Court.

    However, once Prop 8 changed the California Constitution, that was challenged under the *US* Constitution, and that's where federal courts have the final say. If the US Supreme Court held that Prop 8 was against *US* law, no California Court–including the California Supreme Court–could do anything to change that.

    Article IV is only relevant where federal and state laws conflict. In those situations, as you say, federal law wins. But that doesn't mean that federal courts have any power to overrule state courts on the meaning of state law–it just means that the state law can be rendered unenforceable by the conflicting federal law. Which is precisely what would happen here, if a court finds that the US Constitution conflicts with the state's ban on gay marriage.

  • 23. Dr. Z  |  February 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I mentioned last fall that I thought the reasoning used by Judge Black in Ohio was going to open up a whole new front in the ME legal battles – if a state recognizes any OOS OSM marriages that could not be legally contracted in state, then that state cannot refuse to recognize OOS SSM without running into an equal protection violation.

  • 24. grod  |  February 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Isn't that Oregon's AG's opinion as well? See the '15' page SCRIB brief. Beginning on page 7 Go Ahead Memo to Agencies from Michael Jordon October 16 2013; followed by the AAG's opinion on Department of Justice letterhead dated same date: Point # 3 – Oregon's s constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage would likely be construed as also prohibiting recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages. But such a construction would likely violate the federal constitution

  • 25. Dr. Z  |  February 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Yes, Oregon was one of the first states to use Black's reasoning to invalidate its ban on recognition of OOS SSM.

  • 26. grod  |  February 13, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Ohio's Judge T Black's decision was appealed. Is it likely that District Court Judge Heyburn's decision will be appealed. Ohio and Kentucky are both in the 6t Circuit.

  • 27. erasure25  |  February 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    My personal view is that it would be inconceivable post-Windsor to have a valid marriage contract in one state not valid in all other states. Why recognize an out of state heterosexual marriage contract but not an out of state same sex marriage contract? No one has ever offered any non-animus reason for doing so. And animus is not a good enough reason. Once all states have to recognize all out of states marriage licenses, it effectively kills any in-state bans without ever having to broach the subject of the constitutionality of state bans. Then it becomes an economic issue…. Why should people have to travel to another state, get married there, and then fly/drive back home? The home state is simply then losing out on revenue.

  • 28. sfbob  |  February 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    The home state may want to keep their bans on the books and lose the revenue as a matter of "principle." After all, a number of states still have sodomy laws on their books and insist on not removing them, in order to a) make a statement and b) have a means to harass gay and lesbian individuals and couples even if there is no way those people could actually be prosecuted and convicted.

  • 29. Jesse  |  February 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    True, but wouldn't home states run into trouble regarding age of consent laws regarding marriage? Because all you need is to find an out of state marriage where the couples who were married violated the home state's age of consent law and now you've got selective enforcement/discrimination on out of state marriages because of the type of marriage.


  • 30. sfbob  |  February 12, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    There's the whole "public policy exception" to the Full Faith and Credit Clause that I think some states are relying on to give them a way out on marriage. The problems with those is that the states most likely to attempt to invoke it haven't previously used it, making their new-found application of it highly suspect. I think that one came up in the Utah case.

  • 31. Zack12  |  February 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I've read several articles where police in places like NC and LA have done just that with the sodomy laws.

  • 32. sfbob  |  February 12, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    They've done that. A few years ago when Montana was attempting to do away with their unenforceable sodomy laws, some state legislator said he (I think it was "he") stated upfront that the law should stay on the books to show gays that they weren't welcome in the state. From what I recall, the statement sort of backfired on him.

  • 33. Zack12  |  February 13, 2014 at 3:47 am

    It did because it basically highlighted the true animus of the law and the sole reason many of them are still on the books.
    To send a message that we are evil and worthy of being put in prison.
    Needless to say, it did backfire on him and helped repeal the law.

  • 34. grod  |  February 13, 2014 at 3:48 am

    Erasure Judge Heyburn, in a footnote acknowledges Ohio's Judge T Back's decision – hat the latter called the right to remain married and have valid marriages recognized. Back saw this right as an aspect of the right to marry. The right to marry has been found to be an aspect of the fundamental right to liberty and happiness. I was surprised that Heyburn ended up with using rational basis to analyze level of scrutiny of a fundamental right. Like Justice Kennedy, his analysis looked less deferential to the state, and more discerning, attributes of heightened scrutiny.

  • 35. JustMe  |  February 18, 2014 at 3:47 am

    Because in most states marriage is not a *contract*. It is a status. That's why you can get divorced by a state where you have never lived, but your spouse runs away and stays there for 6 months.

  • 36. Justin  |  February 12, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    The decision to file in state court might have something to do with the composure of the Missouri Supreme Court, which has 5 Democrats and 2 Republicans. By contrast, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis is controlled by Republicans.

  • 37. Rick O.  |  February 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks – that tidbit explains it. Plaintiffs can count.

  • 38. Ragavendran  |  February 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    But, if the State is strategic and wants the ban upheld, it will have the case removed to federal court, as it has better chances of winning in the 8th, like you said.

  • 39. ebohlman  |  February 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Doing so, however, would require the State to concede that Baker is no longer controlling; they can hardly petition a Federal court to take on a case in which they assert that there's no substantial Federal question.

  • 40. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Who appoints a judge is not a final indication of how that judge will rule in various cases.

    For instance Justice Kennedy was appointed by Ronnie Ray-Gun. Judge Heyburn was appointed by Bush (on the recommendation of McConnell).

    The D/R ratio, and who nominated who, is usually a good indication, but it is not always a definitive indication.

  • 41. JayJonson  |  February 18, 2014 at 7:37 am

    The Missouri Supreme Court recently issued a shocking decision regarding the rights of a surviving partner of a policeman killed while on duty. I would not count on them to do the right thing.

  • 42. JimT  |  February 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    I like how he stated this point:

    “Many Kentuckians believe in “traditional marriage.” Many believe what their ministers and scriptures tell them: that a marriage is a sacrament instituted between God and a man and a woman for society’s benefit. They may be confused —even angry—when a decision such as this one seems to call into question that view. These concerns are understandable and deserve an answer. Our religious beliefs and societal traditions are vital to the fabric of society. Though each faith, minister, and individual can define marriage for themselves, at issue here are laws that act outside that protected sphere. Once the government defines marriage and attaches benefits to that definition, it must do so constitutionally. It cannot impose a traditional or faith-based limitation upon a public right without a sufficient justification for it. Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law, does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons. The beauty of our Constitution is that it accommodates our individual faith’s definition of marriage while preventing the government from unlawfully treating us differently. This is hardly surprising since it was written by people who came to America to find both freedom of religion and freedom from it.” Pages 18, 19

  • 43. sfbob  |  February 12, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    That quote is definitely a "keeper." The judge clearly thought out all the objections and pointed out why the religious folks need to be careful what they wish for.

  • 44. JimT  |  February 13, 2014 at 5:42 am

    I think this type of reasoning could also be applied against the attempts to legislate contraceptive mandates and the extreme anti-abortion laws being passed by the religious politicos.

    "Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law, does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons. The beauty of our Constitution is that it accommodates our individual faith’s definition of marriage while preventing the government from unlawfully treating us differently. This is hardly surprising since it was written by people who came to America to find both freedom of religion and freedom from it.”

  • 45. grod  |  February 12, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Notice the footnote – on about the same page in the decision – in which the legislative Mmover and Seconder of the amendment cite religious reasoning

  • 46. Zack12  |  February 12, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    The judge's ruling hit the nail on the head. You have a right to your religious beliefs but they can't be used to take away rights from others.

  • 47. Zack12  |  February 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I will say one thing. I'm glad for the parial victory but I'll be even happier when these bans are struck down in full.
    Many couples can't or won't go to other states to get married, nor should they have too.

  • 48. sfbob  |  February 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I love this judge. His writing is so simple and eloquent, so devoid of legal jargon, that anyone should be able to comprehend his opinion. He's used Loving and Romer as his stepping-off points (which I really, really like). He's also taken the time to address even arguments not being made in the submitted briefs, such as fears that churches will be required to perform marriages to which they object, and to explain the function of the courts in situations where rights are contested. He even lays the groundwork, should the need arise, for contesting laws such as the one currently being debated in Kansas, that would grant people the right to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.

  • 49. palerobber  |  February 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    i liked the part in the opinion where the judge illustrates his point by "substituting our particular circumstances within Justice Kennedy’s own words [from Windsor]"….

    "[Kentucky’s laws’] principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal."

  • 50. Craig Nelson  |  February 13, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Wow. I just read it. These rulings just get better and better. Well worth a read, especially the last part where the judge takes us on an equal protection journey and quite rightly links up Loving, Romer, Lawrence and that great link in the chain Windsor. Pure gold, a ruling that will do much good.

  • 51. StraightDave  |  February 13, 2014 at 6:14 am

    The introduction to the Declaration of Independence:

    "…a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

    … is now echoed in Judge Heyburn's ruling.

    "To the extent courts clash with what likely remains that majority opinion here, they risk some of the public’s acceptance. For these reasons, the Court feels a special obligation to answer some of those concerns."

    I'm coming to like these Federal judges an awful lot lately. Quite the job they are collectively doing. It's almost as if they knew all along, and were just waiting for a nod from SCOTUS.

  • 52. StraightDave  |  February 13, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Such a lovely way for the judge to wrap up his mini legal history lesson, going through Loving, Romer, Lawrence and Windsor:

    "And, sometime in the next few years at least one other Supreme Court opinion will likely complete this judicial journey."

    The play is already written. All that remains is acting it out. And we all get to watch!

  • 53. Ragavendran  |  February 13, 2014 at 9:01 am

    "The board is set. The pieces are moving. We come to it at last… The great battle of our time." – Gandalf

  • 54. Rick O.  |  February 13, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Indeed, Heyburn's address to the religious is extremely helpful. I case you haven't noticed, the religious right can see they're losing the ME fight and are already shifting resources to "religious freedom" (i.e. christian sharia) laws (see Kansas, right now). Anyone who lives elsewhere than either coast knows that a vast majority of the public either sincerely believes " the U.S. is – or should be – "a Christian Nation", or is too polite to suggest otherwise publicly. Gays have won a lot of battles, atheists almost none because they haven't bothered to wage them since "In God we Trust". Note: # of out of the closet atheists in Congress: zero. Meanwhile the Supreme Court could be accused of being a wing of the Vatican: 8 Catholics. There will be a gay on the court before another William O. Douglas.
    The public is going to have to be reeducated about separation of Church and State, and it's going to be a huge battle. The culture war will be nastier than ever.

  • 55. JimT  |  February 13, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Regardless of whatever broad ruling(s) come of SCOTUS, we are going to be fighting for ME for many years to come. A good example of that would be what's happening across the country with the "pro life pro choice" movements. Red states are enacting laws to get around Roe v. Wade, forty years later women are still having to fight for that right.

  • 56. Stefan  |  February 18, 2014 at 9:34 am

    They'll try enacting laws like the one pending in Kansas, but even now they've been shown to be facing resistance.

    ME is not like abortion rights in the sense that it's more cut and dry.

  • 57. Schteve  |  February 18, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Kyrsten Sinema–the lone bisexual member of Congress–has explicitly refused to describe herself as an atheist, but says her religion is "none". There was a self-proclaimed atheist in Pete Stark until he lost in 2012, and Barney Frank has called himself an atheist since he retired. (I would say there are actually quite a few atheists still in politics, but they lie about it to get elected.)

    Also the Supreme Court has six Catholics (Ginsberg, Breyer, and Kagan are Jews). 🙂

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    Any stay issued?

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