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Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk Schaefer asks Supreme Court to hear Virginia same-sex marriage case

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The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
George Schaefer, the Circuit Court Clerk of Norfolk, Virginia, has filed his own petition for review in Bostic v. Schaefer, the challenge to Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.

SCOTUSBlog has more:

The new document was filed by lawyers for George E. Schaefer III, who is the circuit court clerk for Norfolk County. He has been taking part in the Virginia case to defend the ban when state officials declined to do so. Already pending at the Court are another petition from Virginia, one from Utah, and one from Oklahoma. Another is expected soon from Virginia, to be filed by a different county clerk.

On Wednesday, the Court blocked the issuance of licenses for same-sex marriages in Virginia pending the filing of a petition by the other clerk who is defending the ban, Michele B. McQuigg of Prince William County. Her petition is being prepared now by her lawyers, who may file it within the next week or so.

In the other two Virginia filings, one by the state attorney general and now by the Norfolk clerk, each claimed that it was the proper vehicle for the Court to review the validity of the Virginia ban. But the two are on slightly different procedural timetables within the Court, and that will be true as well for the McQuigg petition when it is filed.

If the Court wishes to consider all three of those together, that may delay action, because of the different timing. But that only affects whether the Court acts earlier rather than somewhat later, because the issue will remain a pressing one with all sides urging the Court to move ahead without delay to settle the underlying issue.

This is the second petition in the Virginia case: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed his own, though he’s in favor of same-sex marriage. Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele McQuigg has promised to file her own petition for review before the 90 day deadline, but she has yet to file.

You can read the filing here.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. hopalongcassidy  |  August 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    These people are like the guy in the hockey mask in those horror movies, they just won't fucking die.

  • 2. bayareajohn  |  August 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    In this quite public forum, please consider using language suitable for use out loud in public.

  • 3. brandall  |  August 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Will this work?…

    There are only two types of animals that can survive a nuclear holocaust:

    Cockroaches and defendant County Clerks who oppose Marriage Equality.

    [Borrowed joke from Cher]

  • 4. weaverbear  |  August 22, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    snicker snort!!

  • 5. Fortguy  |  August 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Apparently, there must be a band wagon so many are rushing to jump aboard in order to add their names for all posterity to the Wrong Side of History.

  • 6. StraightDave  |  August 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Well if they don't get their names in the book now, it's gonna close pretty soon. They're not taking any chances on how God will vote a couple decades from now. And if it turns out he doesn't really care, they will have lost nothing. It's just playing the odds. (I almost half believe this sometimes, when I've run out of other possible explanations)

  • 7. FredDorner  |  August 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    There's another bandwagon…..all the large law firms want to be on the right side of history, as does the American Bar Association:

    It probably explains in part why the bigoted states are unable to find competent attorneys to defend their bans.

  • 8. StraightDave  |  August 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Yes, but even the supposedly good attorneys (Charles Cooper, Paul Clement) are having a hard time making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. It does not help one's reputation to get one's ass handed to them while offering up moronic arguments. Now that the writing is clearly on the wall, who would want to go down that path?

  • 9. FredDorner  |  August 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    As Charles Cooper recently said after planning his own daughter's same-sex wedding, his views on marriage equality are "evolving."

    Meanwhile, Paul Clement was finally able to find a new job with a small law firm after leaving his cushy job at King & Spalding to defend hate.

  • 10. Zack12  |  August 24, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    He is working at a law firm founded by Viet D. Dinh, a far right hack who helped draft the Patriot Act.
    He is also a Robert Murdoch lackey and a possible Supreme Court nominee if a Republican wins the White House in 2016.

  • 11. andrewofca  |  August 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I'd feel sorry for the cockroaches…

  • 12. SPQRobin  |  August 23, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    As a reply to… (where the thread is already closed): you can click on the "X hours/days ago" next to a username to link to a certain comment. That's easier 🙂 I know e.g. Facebook also uses the time/date as permalink.

  • 13. brandall  |  August 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks! That is a bit faster.

  • 14. hopalongcassidy  |  August 23, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Sorry to offend some bigots.

  • 15. bayareajohn  |  August 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I suggest you use the same language you have here recently (rimjob, fucking, pricks, goddamn, assholes, and shit) on the PA on the next flight you pilot, so that you can sort out the bigots from the good ole boys. I'm sure the airline management will support that choice.

    I only suggested that you consider giving the same respect for your compatriots here as you do the strangers on your plane. It's not bigots you are talking to here.

    And it's only a suggestion. You are of course free to use such language as you believe conveys your character most accurately.

  • 16. MichaelGrabow  |  August 25, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Cursing conveys a lack of character or something else negative? Get real.

  • 17. ragefirewolf  |  August 25, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Actually, people who swear tend to be more honest, if character is your concern.

    Otherwise, you having a moral panic about swearing does you no credit, John. Everyone here is or knows a stakeholder in this. Venting is both anticipated and necessary. Kindly lighten up.

  • 18. bayareajohn  |  August 25, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Rereading my posts, I find no implication of panic nor morality. I only suggested use of public-calibrated civility that is well understood for serious public discussion. Posting here is more like public address than it is like bar-table chat. As I said an no one challenged, saying "This is your Captain, and if we get through this shit weather and the asshole at the tower clears us, we can get on with this fucking landing" on the airline PA would probably deemed inappropriate by many.

    All of our choices exhibit our character; language more than most. I doubt the science behind the statement that cursing is correlated with honesty, but I know that 100% of us form an opinion about character from what people say and how they say it. What the opinion will be will vary with the listener. Whether a person talks like a priest, lawyer, or sailor, it will be noted by the listener and add to the message itself.

    I'm done….

  • 19. JayJonson  |  August 25, 2014 at 11:01 am

    I agree with you. Unseemly language and wishing our enemies dead does no good to our side. Venting may have some therapeutic benefit, but doing so in a public forum seems tacky to me. It not only diminishes the seriousness of the site, but it also provides ammunition to our enemies.

  • 20. MichaelGrabow  |  August 25, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Call me crazy, but I do not believe the original poster was wishing anyone dead. It was a simple analogy referencing fictional movies intended to be funny.

    As much as this site may be very informative, we are not in a courtroom…you guys need to lighten up.

  • 21. ragefirewolf  |  August 26, 2014 at 9:36 am


  • 22. MichaelGrabow  |  August 25, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    There is very clearly a stark difference between what one would and should say while performing their job versus what is said in the comments section of a website.

    Anyone who chooses to judge someone merely for the use of a curse word is ridiculous.

  • 23. ragefirewolf  |  August 26, 2014 at 9:40 am

    ^ this

  • 24. hopalongcassidy  |  August 25, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    You could have saved yourself a lot of angst and anxiety if you had just minded your own fucking business. Just sayin'.
    Now *I* am done.

  • 25. ragefirewolf  |  August 26, 2014 at 9:40 am

    ^ also this

  • 26. ragefirewolf  |  August 26, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I reject the notion that civility is necessary when referring to anyone who wishes us harm – especially in this forum, that while open to the public, is a place where we can safely vent our fucking frustrations. If you don't wanna see us swearing, you don't have to read our comments.

    Simple as that.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  August 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

    For a Saturday morning.

    This hilarious pro-gay marriage advertisement from Ireland is a must see. [The Immoral Minority]

  • 28. Sagesse  |  August 23, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Missed this. The arc of history bends.

    With Queen's Decree, Alan Turing Is Now Officially Pardoned [The Advocate]

  • 29. StraightDave  |  August 23, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Nice gesture, but will he also get a posthumous MBE (at least) for helping save their ungrateful asses during WWII?

  • 30. F_Young  |  August 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Turing received the OBE in 1954, while he was still alive. It is the next class above MBE.

  • 31. cpnlsn88  |  August 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    For some reason this is getting reposted but happened 24th December 2013; it's always good to be reminded of it though. Of course it is symbolic but in some cases I think it is a good thing to do to mark the harm that such laws did (and are still doing in the countries that have them).

  • 32. Ragavendran  |  August 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    The article suggests that the "series of formal procedures" might have begun last year, but was finalized on Tuesday.

  • 33. cpnlsn88  |  August 24, 2014 at 3:48 am

    That's what the article says but if there's a person who's sadly no longer with us I think the actual pardon from the Queen is the actual pardonining and I'm sure there are no other formalities necessary.

    For coverage at the time of the pardon:

  • 34. Ragavendran  |  August 24, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Interesting. The BBC article you link says "The pardon comes into effect on 24 December." But Tuesday's UPI article, which is what the Advocate article is based on, says "The pardon went into effect Tuesday." This is confusing indeed.

  • 35. bayareajohn  |  August 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Note that the date at the top of the BBC article is December 23, 2013.

  • 36. Ragavendran  |  August 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Yes, but that is not the confusing part. If the queen already pardoned Turing and it went into effect on December 24, then what is the pardon that is now being reported as having gone into effect last Tuesday? That's the confusion!

  • 37. bayareajohn  |  August 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Note that the date at the top of the BBC article is December 23, 2013.

    Nearly every article I find is from that month, and only the CNN article seems to think it just occurred. From the time stamps, UPI picked up the article from CNN, and ADVOCATE and others followed as though it was current. As there are NO current articles from the BBC or other UK outlets, it surely looks like CNN is the source.

    As the quotes and the statement of effective date being the day following the announcement exactly match the releases of December 23 2013, this looks like a CNN gaffe, and very old recycled news… taken as true and repeated by our "news" network that is now certified journalism-free. If I can find the hole in the story in 3 minutes on Google, it means that the news network did even less checking than that.

  • 38. bayareajohn  |  August 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    More: A search on CNN finds the same article was in fact posted there on December 23, 2013. The dateline of the current article page says it was "updated Aug 17 2014". I can't tell what they updated, but it may have been something trivial. UPI republished the story without credit, hours after CNN did whatever they did with this old story. The update may have triggered CNN's promo system for links, and maybe UPI grabbed it as news while combing the CNN site for leads… so the actual fault may be UPI, not CNN who just edited an old page. Still bad on CNN for changing the dateline without clarity, and not combing the text for time-relevant language ("tomorrow").

    Then the dominos fall, and presto-chango we have news. We'll be back after this important word from our sponsor….

    I'm appalled that so very few in all the comments at CNN, UPI, and Advocate bothered to even puzzle over this.

  • 39. Ragavendran  |  August 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Oh wow. What a mess!

  • 40. JayJonson  |  August 25, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Yes, this is old news. But the reason it was given credence is likely because the Brits have some strange customs by our lights. It took months and months after marriage equality was passed (after going through multiple votes in the House of Commons and House of Lords) before it became effective. And those who are in civil unions apparently will not be able to have them converted to marriages until December. So perhaps it seemed plausible that a pardon granted by the Queen would take nine months to become official.

  • 41. JayJonson  |  August 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    The story about Alan Turing's pardon is from LAST December, but the UK's civil partnerships will not be able to be converted into marriages until later THIS year.

    I am not sure why that is the case, but it is. At least now those in civil partnerships will be able to have real weddings. (The original plan was that they would only receive a piece of paper.)

    From June 26, 2014 PinkNews:

  • 42. bayareajohn  |  August 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I have mixed the two issues inadvertently, sorry. I deleted my mistaken response, above.

  • 43. Sagesse  |  August 23, 2014 at 11:08 am

    California Passes Bill Expanding Recognition Of Same-Sex Parents, Awaits Governor's Signature [Huffington Post]

    California Passes Bill Expanding Recognition Of Same-Sex Parents, Awaits Governor's Signature

  • 44. ragefirewolf  |  August 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Did you have a link, Sagesse?

  • 45. Sagesse  |  August 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm


    California Passes Bill Expanding Recognition Of Same-Sex Parents, Awaits Governor's Signature

  • 46. ragefirewolf  |  August 25, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Thank you!!

  • 47. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 23, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Off topic to this discussion, but on topic (IMO) to the site:

    From the Advocate:
    Headline: 'Lawyers Who Won Oregon Marriage Equality About to See Payday'
    Subhead: 'Several of the attorneys who successfully argued against Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage could earn more than $250,000 for their efforts.'
    (… )

    And the Oregon case only went through District court. If appealed to the Court of Appeals, then on to SCOTUS, the expenses would have gone much higher.

    Most of the state officials appealing the case to SCOTUS are not putting their own money into the fight, but the taxpayer's money. And most of those state officials are backed by the Tea Party. I thought the TP was for reduced expenses (state and Federal), and this would allow taxes to be reduced. I guess when it comes to marriage equality, that philosophy goes out the TPers window.

  • 48. Sagesse  |  August 24, 2014 at 6:40 am

    This time in Minnesota.

    Same-sex couple settle wedding venue dispute []

  • 49. bayareajohn  |  August 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    The whine from the Minnesota "Family Council" is especially entertaining.

    "The Minnesota Family Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, said the government shouldn't force family businesses to participate in ceremonies that violate their beliefs.

    "The Minnesota Human Rights Department's treatment of Minnesota families is deplorable. They are choosing to enforce the same-sex 'marriage' law in an unconstitutional manner, targeting Minnesota business owners and, to top it all off, claiming victory for settling with a hunting preserve owner who should have never had to face a human rights case against him," Council CEO John Helmberger said in a statement."

    Ah, Marriage in scare quotes. It's so "TC"….

  • 50. F_Young  |  August 25, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Ahead of Next Year’s Expected Vote, Vast Majority of Irish Support Marriage Equality

    This is promising news for Ireland in 2015, but I am disappointed that we have not seen more progress in Australia, Colombia, Finland and Greenland this year.

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