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Federal judge strikes down Missouri’s marriage equality ban

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Big news out of Missouri today, where a federal judge has invalidated the state’s ban on marriage equality.  The ruling comes just two days after a state court judge issued a similar ruling and about a month after another state ruling requiring Missouri to recognize marriage licenses obtained by same-sex couples out of state.

You can read the full ruling below, via Equality Case Files. We’ll have more information on the decision later today!

4:14-cv-00622 #50 by Equality Case Files


  • 1. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Missouri is the only source of good news the last few days apparently ! And in a state in the 8th nontheless ! Maybe Bruning is not that intimidating after all !

  • 2. StraightDave  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Well, at least this week got guns off the front page.

  • 3. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I promise to never debate that here again.

  • 4. MacT89  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Do we know if there is a stay with this ruling? I see the AG has indicated the state will appeal.

  • 5. hopalongcassidy  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Yes, as shown in the very last line of the opinion.

  • 6. MacT89  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Thanks, do not have time to read atm

  • 7. hopalongcassidy  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    No prob, I didn't mean to be short with ya…I just happened to see it as I scrolled fast to see how many pages there were.

  • 8. DavidAZ1  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:04 am

    3 marriage equality rulings in the last 30 days. Is this enough for the Governor and AG to NOT proceed further up the appeals food chain?

  • 9. hopalongcassidy  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Hard to say, some Japanese soldiers hid out on Pacific islands, wanting to fight, for 30 years refusing to admit they had lost WWII…

  • 10. Dann3377  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:24 am


  • 11. franklinsewell  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Missouri chose not to appeal a federal judge's ruling requiring recognition of a legal marriage from other states. They are choosing to appeal a state district ruling requiring St. Louis City and County to license same-sex marriages to the state Supreme Court. Who knows what they will do with this?

  • 12. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I think the reason they chose to appeal the state court ruling was to get finality for the entire state as opposed to just St. Louis. The federal ruling already applied to the whole state.

  • 13. jdw_karasu  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:57 am

    They likely would prefer not to keep fighting: Nixon and Koster are Dems.

    Nixon is term limited, but he's 58 and appears to have goals beyond being Gov. He has indicated he won't run against Bond in 2016 for the Senate, but who knows if he'll change his mind there.

    Koster would like to be the next Gov.

    It's a fine line they're trying to walk, similar to Obama in 2008. I don't think any of us like it, but… you'd like to see our guys get elected even if they have to walk that line compared to guys like Todd Akin (Claire's opposition in 2012 in Mizzou) who will never come around to supporting us.

  • 14. micha1976  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Could it be that the state's defense was particularly sloppy? I didnt read the briefs, but the judge said their only justification was uniformity, which is even shittier than the usual crap the states are presenting. The judge was done pretty quickly with his analysis…

  • 15. MacT89  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Both the Gov and AG are Dems sympathetic to equality, but recognize the political reality of their state. They will put on their pony show to make conservatives remain cal,. So it would not surprise me.

  • 16. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Note 2, page 4 of the ruling :

    "One might think Windsor was a case about federalism. However, the
    majority said “it is unnecessary to decide whether this federal intrusion on state
    power is a violation of the Constitution because it disrupts the federal balance,” 133
    S. Ct. at 2690, and couched the violation in terms of the Fifth Amendment.
    Therefore, according to the majority, Windsor is not a case about federalism. "

    Finally a judge made this very important distinction, even if it is just a comment down the page. Such comments often make judicial history.

  • 17. dorothyrothchild  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:22 am

    It makes no sense to me how a judge can write pages and pages of an opinion on why marriage bans are unjust and a violation of the constitution and yet go on to issue an indefinite stay. It's completely contradictory to everything they just said.

  • 18. brandall  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Blame goes to SCOTUS when they stayed Kitchen and then the subsequent cases.
    The judicial written procedures for immediate relief are no longer being followed. This creates a bad precedent for any constitutional violation cases in the future.

  • 19. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:30 am

    The stay is largely inconsequential. The judge knows marriages have already begun due to the state court ruling two days ago. Anyone can travel to St. Louis and get married there. But I do see your point.

  • 20. montezuma58  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:42 am

    It seems to be that SCOTUS has replaced well established guidelines for issuing stays with the "You say the most when you say nothing at all" approach.

  • 21. franklinsewell  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Huh … Judge Smith also ruled against the state based on equal protection (gender-specificity) grounds.

  • 22. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:27 am

    "Bruning involved an amendment to the Nebraska Constitution that declared that
    only marriages between a man and woman would be recognized in that state and
    that same-sex marriages would not be recognized. While this makes it appear that
    Bruning involves the same issues as this case, this conclusion is false: the plaintiffs
    in Bruning attacked the constitutional amendment by arguing that it deprived them of access to the political process.The Eighth Circuit characterized the plaintiffs’ claims
    as follows:
    Appellees do not assert a right to marriage or same-sex unions. Rather,
    they seek a level playing field, an equal opportunity to convince the
    people's elected representatives that same-sex relationships deserve
    legal protection. The argument turns on the fact that § 29 is an
    amendment to the Nebraska Constitution. Unlike state-wide legislation
    restricting marriage to a man and a woman, a constitutional amendment
    deprives gays and lesbians of “equal footing in the political arena”
    because state and local government officials now lack the power to
    address issues of importance to this minority.
    Bruning, 455 F.3d 859, 865 (8th Cir. 2006) (quotations omitted; emphasis supplied).
    The plaintiffs did not assert a right to same-sax marriage, so nothing in Bruning
    directly disposes of whether such a right exists. "

    Not that Bruning matters anymore much after the 6th's decision but it is nice to see it undermined again, this time in federal court. I hope the judges in Arkansas and the Dakotas pay close attention.

  • 23. franklinsewell  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:29 am

    This ruling only applied to Robert Kelly from Kansas City. The judge declined to expand the force of the injunction to the entire state, even though the state intervened.

  • 24. MichaelGrabow  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Can anyone else confirm this? I had not read this elsewhere.

  • 25. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:50 am

    The last page of the order only has an injunction enjoining Kelly of Jackson County from enforcing the challenged laws. It does not enjoin all the other state officials. But it does have a declaratory portion before it that declares the challenged laws unconstitutional (obviously statewide). I guess technically, only Jackson County has to bow down?

  • 26. franklinsewell  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:51 am

    MichaelGrabow: Here's the relevant portion of the decision.

    The problem is: the only defendant in this case is Robert T. Kelly in his official capacity as Director of the Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds. Plaintiffs offer no binding authority explaining why a broader injunction is permissible, and the Court concludes it cannot enjoin people and officers who are not defendants in this action. In reaching its decision in this case the Court has necessarily declared the State’s prohibition on same-sex marriages violates the Constitution. However, the only other relief that can spring from that declaration is an injunction prohibiting the sole Defendant – Kelly, acting in his official capacity – from enforcing the prohibition. In this regard, the Court agrees that Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm from being deprived of the opportunity to marry. The balance of hardships and the public interest favor enjoining Defendant Kelly because this is the only way to vindicate Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

  • 27. franklinsewell  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:34 am

    BREAKING: Attorney General of Missouri Chris Koster announces he will appeal ruling from Western District of Missouri to the 8th Circuit.

  • 28. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I wish we had this case before SCOTUS. The AG and the governor are so unwilling to defend it and so lazy at doing it, just to give a sense of fighting to a predominantly conservative electorate, that it would make our case much easier there. Not that any other official who vigorously defends the ban has better arguments of course..

  • 29. jdw_karasu  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I'm perfectly happy with the 6th cases going up. Sutton's opinion is so crappy, and Daughtrey's so well aimed at Kennedy, that it's just about perfect.

    It's likely that this case up at the 8th will have a judge at least attempting to write something better than Sutton's mess. Would just as soon this slow walked by the 8th while we get the 6th up and perhaps the 11th decides to move at Posner Speed to have that handed down right before the 6th is taken up.

  • 30. DACiowan  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Has Bondi officially appealed to the 11th or is she still hemming and hawing around?

  • 31. brandall  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:22 am

    She already filed her appeal to the 11th. And while we're on the topic, there has been virtually no progress in the 2nd or 3rd district FL state appeals courts in the last two weeks.

  • 32. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I don't think the 11th has time to rule before things get going in SCOTUS with the cases from the 6th.
    I hope the plaintiffs from the 6th get some co ordination here. I already read that ACLU will appeal one of the Ohio decisions to SCOTUS, which I do not consider a wise move. They should all get behind DeBoer, obviously the best vehicle towards SCOTUS.

    I do not disagree at all that the cases from the 6th are a great vehicle of course given Sutton's disgraceful opinion..

  • 33. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I dearly hope so too. Even if one of them seeks en banc review, that allows SCOTUS to wait until the Sixth decides that request.

  • 34. jdw_karasu  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    You'd have to think that any plaintiff thinking of asking for en banc is nuts. They have to flip 2 judges, and it only slows down the process until it reaches a level where we are 99.99% certain we have a 5-4 advantage. Would be just stupid, to the degree that I can't imagine any attorney on our side recommending it.

    On the 11th, it's unlikely it gets an opinion before SCOTUS takes up the cases of the 6th… but you never know.

  • 35. davepCA  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:20 am

    When the next case gets to SCOTUS, I think it will be better to have the opposing side offer every single example of all the dumb "arguments" that we have seen before in all the previous cases. They will all fail, and this will provide a much more iron-clad ruling from SCOTUS that will stop any possible future attempts to take away our rights from getting anywhere. Those who wish to make further attempts to reverse these decisions that have ruled in our favor should not be given an easy task to identify some new possible rationale for denying same sex marriage that hasn't already been addressed and shot down by SCOTUS in this next trial. We don't just want SCOTUS to tell any future opposition 'no', we want SCOTUS to tell them 'no, no, no, and no, and don't ask us again'.

  • 36. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I don't know if Kennedy will be willing or able to shoot down every argument if he decides to rule in favour of ME.In my opinion it will be interesting to see how well SCOTUS will receive the sex discrimination argument that has been gaining momentum in courts since Berzon laid it out.

  • 37. sfbob  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I'm not sure I follow you here. All of the principal arguments in support of marriage equality bans were weighed and found wanting in Windsor. To be sure, the issue was somewhat different, and yet at the same time the reasoning is the same or very nearly so. I don't think there are any anti-equality arguments Kennedy couldn't readily dispose of.

    I suppose that if the Court were to find favor with the sex-discrimination based argument favoring marriage equality, it would result in a ruling requiring marriage equality in every state and territory but without the added benefit of finding sexual orientation to be a suspect class. That would not be the ideal result and it would remain for another day (perhaps when a "religious freedom to discriminate against gays" law comes before the court) for that to be decided.

  • 38. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Kennedy is a pro-states rights judge though, along with being a pro-gay rights judge, Schuette layouts certain principles on that (many times quoted by ME opponents). That makes me skeptical on how far he would be willing to go.
    For sure Windsor was not a decision on federalism but still it had many references to states and their "rights".
    I am not trying to undermine the equality case here at all, I am just expressing healthy skepticism on our realistic chances at SCOTUS.

    Mind you all the above do not take under consideration the huge social and judicial pressure SCOTUS will be under, given its decision to deny cert and what would a decision upholding the bans create in terms of legal chaos in 13 and possibly 16 states affected by its recent "non decisions" on ME.

  • 39. Zack12  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I pretty much go with what Scalia said in that Kennedy will be the fifth vote for marriage equality despite all the talk about states and their rights.
    As Scalia pointed out, that didn't hide all the language Kennedy put in his ruling that basically shows the state bans are doomed.

  • 40. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Scalia writes all kinds of stuff in his dissents when he is furious imo. He may just have done it to spite Kennedy and force him not to prove him right in the future, who knows ?
    Scalia made the same evaluation about marriage when Lawrence was decided.

  • 41. wes228  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Every time he talks about states rights to regulate marriage it is always followed with the caveat that they "respect the constitutional rights of persons."

    He has struck down state laws and state referenda that violated gay people's rights, and he'll do it again.

  • 42. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I was on the fence on that before October 6th. After October 6th, even if he had voted to grant cert then and rule against ME, something we may never know, he has to deal with vast social implications on families amd children, implications that will weigh heavily on him for sure. Just for that I went from "on the fence" to "cautiously optimistic".

  • 43. sfbob  |  November 7, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I certainly agree with your assessment about Kennedy as being pro-states' right. And yet there is that clause from Windsor which wes228 has already cited.

    I don't really think Schuette's arguments are all that novel.

  • 44. JayJonson  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I suspect that Kennedy, should he write the decision reversing DeBoer and the other Sixth Circuit cases, will say pretty much what he said in Windsor, citing equal protection and animus.

    I doubt that he will pay much attention to the sex discrimination argument, nor does he have to, and I would be very surprised were he to declare sexual orientation a suspect class–he is on record as being dubious about such classifications, though some circuits like the ninth will find on analysis of his opinions that he does use heightened scrutiny in cases involving sexual orientation.

    In any case, I would not expect SCOTUS to issue so broad a ruling that it will cover every possible question regarding discrimination. The Court generally does not make such broad rulings. I do, however, expect a strong ruling that will knock out all the bans against same-sex marriage.

    Among many things in Sutton's opinion that is likely to piss off Kennedy is Sutton's facile dismissal of the question of animus. Animus has been central to Kennedy's great trilogy of gay rights rulings–Romer, Lawrence, and Windsor–and he is not likely to be persuaded to change his mind by the glib and hollow rhetoric of Sutton.

  • 45. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

    "no, no, no, and no, and don't ask us again" – well said!

  • 46. brandall  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Suggested edit: " 'no, no, no, and no, and don't ask us again and don't ever cite Baker v. Nelson in any brief, motion, or decision since it is as dead as the Wicked Witch of the West."

  • 47. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Maybe the best thing SCOTUS can do to Baker to continue ignoring it. Let the briefs be full of Baker, oral arguments replete with Baker. And in the final decision, let there not be a single mention of Baker again. That would be the stake through its heart – not even mentioning it in a case directly dealing with the same question. In Judge Lucero's words during Oklahoma's oral argument: "But… but, the case [Baker] was before the Supreme Court. Questions were asked about it at the Supreme Court. And the majority chose to disregard it, and essentially, overrule it. They didn't say "we overrule it." They… they… the… worse, they just ignored it. Left in the corner. All by itself."

  • 48. wes228  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I was just thinking this myself. I think it will be hilarious if after all of this, the Supreme Court finds Baker to be so inconsequential that they don't even feel it's worth it to address.

  • 49. Eric  |  November 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    I disagree, they should admit that they were wrong, like they did with Bowers.

  • 50. sfbob  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    They would not so much be admitting they were wrong this time; they would merely need to acknowledge the fact that doctrinal developments have rendered Baker meaningless. Doing so explicitly would be very helpful.

  • 51. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  November 8, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Just take Kennedy's words here: "It ought not to remain binding precedent. Bowers v. Hardwick should be and now is overruled" and simply swap out Bowers v. Hard wick with Baker v. Nelson.

    I want to see those words overruled.

  • 52. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

    At the VERY least, I want SCOTUS to make it VERY clear that 'Baker' is NOT precedent. Most of the 'arguments' of the opposition to ME are directly or indirectly based on 'Baker' being SCOTUS precedent, even though SCOTUS has ruled in just about every manner that it is not (except flat out saying it is not).

  • 53. RnL2008  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Exactly….then there will be NO issue with some other idiot using it as an excuse!!!

  • 54. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:47 am

    "The Court does not take lightly a request to declare that a state law is
    unconstitutional. Statutes are passed by the duly elected representatives of the
    people. Article I, section 33 constitutes the direct expression of the people’s will. It
    is not on a whim that the Court supplants the will of the voters or the decisions of the
    But it should not be forgotten that the Constitution is also an expression of the
    people’s will. Indeed, it is the paramount expression of the people’s will; it cannot
    easily be cast aside or circumvented by a vote of the citizens of a single state. Just
    as Missouri citizens cannot abridge the First Amendment by amending the Missouri
    Constitution, they cannot abridge the Fourteenth Amendment in that manner."

    I am pretty sure he wrote this opinion before the ruling from the 6th but he gives such well reasoned answers to Sutton and his nonsense, especially in that passage. Without getting away from the constitutional analysis judge Smith counters in the most effective way the core of Sutton's spineless assertions and the reasons he caved to "public will" while showing no respect for the federal constitution.

  • 55. davepCA  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:23 am

    YES! That section really jumps off the page after what the 6th did yesterday.

  • 56. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I'm sure, in several states, that if there were a ballot question, the state's voters would insert a state constitutional amendment allowing slavery, and overrule the 13th Amendment.

    Will of the people trumps the Constitution? Not even close, unless 2/3rds of the House and 2/3rds of the Senate and 3/4th of the states enact a US Constitutional Amendment to repeal the 13th Amendment (similar to how the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th).

  • 57. DACiowan  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Welcome to the club from someone living in Missouri's hat.

  • 58. MacT89  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Yay! I'm Iowa born, Missouri raised! Both good people with extremely different political constructions.

  • 59. brandall  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Lyle @ SCOTUSBlog just posted an article on three different ways to approach SCOTUS now that the 6th has issued its' ruling. I vote door #1.

  • 60. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Door #1 is the obvious way to go. The 3rd one is out of the question really, as for the 2nd, Otter will try to built on the decision by the 6th as much as possible now, in his request for en banc in the 9th and in his AGs petition for cert but I doubt the justices will grant his case. They may stay its implementation though, they have that choice…The cases from the other circuit are out of reach for a stay now, as Lyle explains..

  • 61. jdw_karasu  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Yep… #1 is the best and quickest. One would expect our side to file extremely fast.

  • 62. MichaelGrabow  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:25 am

    This is a great visual breakdown of the circuits and their respective party affiliations. I have not seen anything like this before. It is on page two in case it does not go straight there.

  • 63. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

    For some reason I find it funny that there are only 4 republican dominated federal CA and one of them has already ruled in favour of ME..

  • 64. davepCA  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I think the section on "Due Process" in this ruling (page 11 – 14) is especially clear and well presented. Nice!

  • 65. jdw_karasu  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

    The side step of Bruning is rather nimble and detailed. It does a good job of firewalling Bruning down to Count II (sexual orientation / Equal Protection) while leaving open Count I (right to marry / Due Process) and Count III (gender / Equal Protection). Which Judge Smith drove right through.

  • 66. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:42 am

    The judge upheld the bans as passing rational basis review though (for equal protection analysis, the judge concluded that he was bound by Bruning to apply rational basis review) . But he went on to strike them down on strict scrutiny (agreeing that the bans burden the fundamental right to marry) and heightened scrutiny (agreeing that the bans do discriminate on the basis of gender).

    "However, there is one aspect of Bruning that relates to the issues in this case. As noted above, Bruning holds that sexual orientation is not a suspect class and that classifications based on sexual orientation are not subject to heightened review of any kind. This directly impacts Count II, and requires the Court to uphold section 451.022 and Article I, section 33 if they are rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest, keeping in mind that such provisions enjoy a strong presumption of validity. In applying this standard, the Bruning court clearly expressed its belief that laws prohibiting same-sex marriage would pass rational basis review. 455 F.3d at 867-68. On this basis, the Court grants the State judgment on the pleadings with respect to Count II."

  • 67. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I did not get that out of the decision tbh..

  • 68. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I just edited my comment to quote the relevant paragraph… page 10.

  • 69. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:56 am

    The difference is the judge does not expressly state his personal judicial belief on whether the bans survive rational basis. He says "if they are rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest" and then goes on to say what the Bruning court said on the issue.

    I don't think he would have upheld them on rational basis either if he had space to move from the 8th.

    Still given Bruning it is remarkable he found space to move and strike down the ban even on the basis of fundumental right to marry and sex discrimination and enhance the view the state judge spelled out yesterday about Bruning having no actual precedential or binding value on the claims raised by the plaintiffs in these cases.
    The judge in SD should take notice and I believe she will.

  • 70. Ragavendran  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Yes, he couldn't have done so after concluding that he was bound by Bruning in that aspect (Count II). I agree that in the absence of Bruning, he probably wouldn't have ruled that way.

  • 71. jdw_karasu  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I also like Judge Smith going all Federalist Papers at the end.

    He doesn't rule the out-of-state marriage issue because it wasn't part of the claims in front of him. Of course (i) that was addressed in the state court ruling, and (ii) it's not hard to read between the lines of the ruling to grasp that would be struck down if it had been in front of him.

  • 72. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:03 am

    It's better he did not address the recognition issue for now. If we assume that the case had a definitive ruling in the 8th (it does not seem it will..) and this court had upheld the recognition ban, there may be problems with the supremacy clause and the state court ruling that was not appealed.

  • 73. jdw_karasu  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I think if this case was similar to other ones we've seen (where plaintiffs are a mix of those wanting to be married in Mizzou and those married elsewhere wanting recognition), it's pretty clear that he would have struck down the statues that prevent recognition of out-of-state marriages. I think his footnote was a sign to draw that out:

    "Look… I can't rule for you on this since it's not one of the claims being made. However, do read that as a hint to file such a claim, people."


  • 74. brandall  |  November 7, 2014 at 10:54 am

    KS – Plaintiff's Opposition to Stay filed today. This sentence can be used in any of the pending cases:

    "The Defendants’ remaining arguments are based on a hodgepodge of irrelevant jurisprudential doctrines that they have thrown at the wall to see which ones will stick."

  • 75. MichaelGrabow  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I may very well have found this from a commenter here and did not realize it in the bevy of tabs I had opened, but either way it is a great read.

  • 76. Zack12  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:41 am

    For those who want to vent, Jefferey Sutton and Deborah Cook both have wikipedia pages describing their serivce.
    I would suggest it got the same treatment this page did.

  • 77. hopalongcassidy  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Wow…this assclown was appointed by Clinton. So much for predictions….sheesh.

  • 78. Zack12  |  November 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    And as his page shows, he is a life long Democrat.
    Bottom line, his bigotry came through loud and clear in his dissent.

  • 79. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 8, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I suspect that since he is an alumnus of St. Peter's College, he is also Catholic. Catholics his age are generally very anti-gay. That is unless you are like me–age 77, Catholic, and gay. That gives me a whole different perspective on social and economic justice for LGBT persons.

  • 80. davepCA  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I like the way you think, Zack12.

  • 81. DACiowan  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Jackson County, Missouri (most of Kansas City) is issuing licenses despite the stay: KC Star article

  • 82. Jaesun100  |  November 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    It's important to remember that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals does not have a history of getting it right. In circuits between 2008 and 2013, 24 out of 25 of their decisions were overturned by the Supreme Court.

    Source: . Introduction, last sentence.

  • 83. Jen_in_MI  |  November 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    With a track record like that, they should be ashamed to call themselves legitimate arbiters of ANTHING!

  • 84. Zack12  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    That is what happens when you put a bunch of right wing hacks on there.
    They will follow their own bigoted viewpoints instead of the law.

  • 85. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Wow..And I thought the 9th was the most overturned..Funny that a predominantly conservative court has such rates of overturned opinions from a conservative SCOTUS..

  • 86. Zack12  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Because many of their options are so bad not even the conservatives on SCOTUS can justify them.

  • 87. josejoram  |  November 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

    By this current SCOTUS?

  • 88. Swifty819  |  November 9, 2014 at 10:39 am

    This current SCOTUS and its variations (ie with Stevens or Stevens and Souter instead of Sotomayor and Kagan) have overturned 24 of 25 Sixth Circuit decisions.

  • 89. guitaristbl  |  November 9, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Out of curiosity which is the one they didn't 😛 ? lol

  • 90. Swifty819  |  November 9, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Add in last term and you have 33 of 36 overturned though….

  • 91. hopalongcassidy  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    I think your link got chopped, maybe this will work better

  • 92. DACiowan  |  November 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    For fun, here is a Google Maps path from San Francisco to Boston where a same-sex couple would have their marriage recognized the entire way.

  • 93. hopalongcassidy  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Or just go north to British Columbia and drive Canada all the way to Niagara falls.


  • 94. F_Young  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    You can even go from frigid Anchorage, Alaska, all the way to toasty Wilmington, North Carolina, though you have to largely travel through Canada if you don't want to get unmarried along the way:,+AK,+US

  • 95. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm


    The people of Barrow, Alaska might feel left out! (Barrow is the Northernmost populated spot in Alaska – 2013 population estimate was 4,373), although the term 'frigid' might not be apt for Barrow.

  • 96. Fortguy  |  November 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Of course, you can begin in Barrow, AK or the Bering Strait getting married while waving at Putin's house then travel with no fuss all the way to the Central American border with Mexico for your honeymoon. Guatemala will let you cross but won't recognize your marriage. Belize will no longer let you cross as their law now prohibits foreign homosexuals from entering the country.

  • 97. flyerguy77  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I don't know if this has been posted yet:

    10TH Circuit of Appeals just denied a stay for Kansas…

  • 98. Silvershrimp0  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Glad to hear it. I'm anxious to see what the Supremes do about it.

  • 99. flyerguy77  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Chances are they are going to denied it too

  • 100. MichaelGrabow  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I cannot imagine a scenario where they would do anything but that.

  • 101. MichaelGrabow  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    First I have seen of this! Thank you!

    Joemygod says all four states from the sixth circuit are going to SCOTUS!!

  • 102. Jaesun100  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Looking like Kansas will be on board with ME this Tuesday:))))))))))

  • 103. RnL2008  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Like that was EVER going to happen……and then Kansas will ask for a Stay by Justice Sotomyer…good luck with that!!!

  • 104. guitaristbl  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I hope they go to SCOTUS and ask for a stay, I am anxious to test the waters on stays after the decision from the 6th.

  • 105. DACiowan  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    The West Virginia ban was finally struck down. Recall the state started issuing on its own initiative. Ruling here.

  • 106. MGinPA  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    This is big, if SCOTUS denies a stay on Kansas marriages, the chances of 6th being overruled are 90%

  • 107. flyerguy77  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    It seems like 6th Circuit is being smack by other Courts and SCOTUS will have a bigger smackdown. IT seems like 6th Circuit is being punished by "mommy" and when Daddy gets home aka SCOTUS ya know what lol.. Sorry if this does not makes sense.. When 6th Circuit handed down their wrong decision yesterday I was pissed, but I realized its a good thing in the long way. I have my own predictions…

  • 108. franklinsewell  |  November 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I just checked the Wikipedia entry for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and I'm not terribly happy about the Missouri AG saying he will appeal to the 8th. Out of 11 judges on the court, only 3 were appointed by Democratic presidents.

  • 109. sfbob  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    It may not matter in the long run. Given that all of the plaintiffs in the Sixth Circuit have now decided to go directly to SCOTUS, assuming the court grants cert, which would seem to me to be overwhelmingly likely, the case(s) will be heard this term. At the point where cert is granted, any other pending cases in other circuits would likely be stayed. However the Court then rules on the 6th Circuit cases, that will determine the fate of all the remaining ones in other Circuits.

  • 110. franklinsewell  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks, sfbob … for the calming reality check.

  • 111. sfbob  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Before you take it too seriously, there's a good deal of speculation involved. Still, I stand by my prediction. 🙂

  • 112. RnL2008  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I would agree with your assessment……in June we should know the fate of Marriage Equality in all 50 States…..and the reason why I agree is because Marriage Equality is in the same situation now as the Loving decision was back then……roughly 15 to 18 States still have or fighting for their ban to remain in place……when Loving was decided…only 19 states still had interracial marriage bans on the books.

  • 113. Sagesse  |  November 8, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Will be watching closely to see if the straggling cases proceed in the 4th, 7th and 10th… possibly in the 9th, where there is circuit precedent. If they do, it is a strong sign that the appeals courts in those circuits do not expect their precedents to be overturned, no matter what SCOTUS does with the 6th. I would expect cases elsewhere to be put on hold, though.

  • 114. franklinsewell  |  November 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    The JoeMyGod posting was actually a tweet-replicas from Chris Geidner over at Buzzfeed. Here's the link:

  • 115. montezuma58  |  November 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Looks like Kansas City, MO officials aren't too concerned about the stay being in place. They're going ahead and issuing licenses.

  • 116. Zack12  |  November 7, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    It should be noted Koster and Nixon did NOT ask for stays while they appeal.
    I know the dance they have to do with appealing it but at least they are NOT being heartless jerks.

  • 117. MichaelGrabow  |  November 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    The person who wrote that article…jeez

    "But several U.S. appeals courts in other regions of the country have ruled in recent months that states cannot ban gay marriage."

    "At least 30 states allow same-sex marriage…"

    Real subject matter expert they've got there.

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