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Equality news round-up: new rulings from Oklahoma’s supreme court, Michigan, and more, on non-marriage issues

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

– Yesterday, arguments were heard in a federal courthouse in Mississippi, where same-sex couples are seeking a preliminary injunction against the state’s marriage ban. From reports, it seems like the judge agreed with the plaintiffs. He will issue a decision at a later time.

– Responses to the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage’s (the anti-gay group who intervened in the Nevada same-sex marriage case) request for rehearing en banc in the Ninth Circuit have come in. The plaintiffs’ response is here. Governor Sandoval’s is here. Of note, the plaintiffs dispute the Coalition’s conspiracy theory that there is an appearance that the three-judge panel was picked deliberately in order to strike down the same-sex marriage bans.

– Officials defending South Carolina’s marriage ban have filed their notice of appeal. The case will go to the Fourth Circuit.

– Yesterday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can seek custody of children they raised. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has a press release.

– A tenth challenge to Texas’ same-sex marriage ban has been filed.

– Yesterday, a federal judge struck down a Michigan law that limited public employees’ benefits only to opposite-sex couples.

– In the Kansas Supreme Court, the judge who is currently blocked from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples filed a motion to lift the stay. The state filed a response.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. MichaelGrabow  |  November 13, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Everyone should read the article linked in the first paragraph of this post!

  • 2. sare99  |  November 13, 2014 at 9:35 am

    This one doesn't have as many quotes but there is a zinger at the end!

    As a cold front Wednesday blasted Jackson with its chilliest temperatures in months, Teeuwissen joked to Reeves that if someone had told him "a court in Mississippi would seriously consider same-sex marriage, it would be a cold day …" He didn't finish the cliché, but Reeves picked up on the joke.

    "It's supposed to be even colder tomorrow," the judge responded.

  • 3. davepCA  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Ha! I love it! : )

  • 4. RobW303  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I liked this one:

    Barnes: The court should issue a stay on an eventual preliminary injunction to avoid the chaos that ensued in places like Utah where we saw an on-again-off-again gay marriage ban.

    Reeves: Or the state of Mississippi could just decide not to appeal a preliminary injunction. That, too, would prevent the type of on-again-off-again scenario it's trying to avoid.

    I'm glad a judge has gone on record with this observation. Is this the first time a JUDGE has mentioned this during a hearing or in a ruling?

    Are you listening, Pam Bondi?

  • 5. davepCA  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

    … And of course, Barnes' initial claim is a blatant lie. No private contract can compel the federal government to provide all of the 1000+ legal rights and protections that are conveyed by civil marriage. Try relying on any such document to get your Social Security Survivor benefits, or to keep the government from initiating deportation proceedings against your partner whose work visa is expiring, or to be allowed to be buried next to your partner in a military cemetery, etc. etc.

  • 6. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    They don't care because they think we are intrinsically undeserving of those legal rights and protections.

  • 7. davepCA  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    …and they're to cowardly and weasely to say that, so they resort to stupid and obvious lies like the idea that a private contract can convey the federal benefits of civil marriage.

  • 8. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    There are private companies that give discounts for people who are married (an example would be travel companies, especially to resorts and/or foreign countries). Those travel companies would observe a private marriage document? Who, at what cost, would enforce it? And would the state provide the funding for the writing of all the legal documents it insists are available?

  • 9. Eric  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:36 am

    It's good to know that the AG has stipulated that one can civilly contract for spousal privilege in Mississippi without a marriage.

  • 10. FredDorner  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I wonder how that AG plans on having private contracts which are binding on non-signatory 3rd parties, like marriage is?

    I've heard wingnuts make similar arguments but that's the first time I've seen an AG be dumb enough to do it.

  • 11. RQO  |  November 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Having gone through 2011-2013 civil unions lobbying of my Colorado state reps, I can report the "private contract" ploy was the last ditch Republican "talking point" , ca. 2012. My R Rep. said he and his wife had used private contracts extensively, and it was very persuasive for 5 minutes. It did blindside me in the Capitol, but later I wrote and asked him if that worked so well, would he prove it by getting divorced. Embarrassed silence ensued.

  • 12. Scottie Thomaston  |  November 13, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Ahh thanks I will fix

  • 13. Zack12  |  November 13, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Had a chat with a buddy from the ACLU about South Carolina since she coordinates with many of the people involved in various lawsuits around the country.
    As several of us have said, our side was 100% correct in filing a second federal lawsuit against the ban in that state in federal court, as Judge J Michelle Childs is NOT on our side.
    We need to be glad that she wasn't the first district judge from the 4th circuit to rule on the bans as she certainly would have ruled against us instead of the dragging of the feet that she is doing now.

  • 14. Dr. Z  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Did your friend offer any specifics to substantiate that? It doesn't surprise me given her actions, but any specific info you could pass along would be helpful.

  • 15. Zack12  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    The biggest red flag for everyone down there has been the fact she keeps changing the dates of when she will rule on the lawsuit.
    That and this article.
    She has talked about how she is bound by Bostic numerous times as she did but the expressions on her face and tone in her voice when she does so indiciates she is NOT happy about it all.
    As you said, actions speak louder then words.

  • 16. JayJonson  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    She should be sanctioned by the Fourth Circuit for her stalling tactics.

  • 17. SWB1987  |  November 13, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Where are we in Georgia and Alabama?

  • 18. mariothinks  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Waiting on briefings to be completed for the Florida case in the 11th Circuit and for oral arguments to be scheduled. That seems like the best hope for those states.

  • 19. RobW303  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Are the cases in Georgia and Alabama officially on hold while the Florida appeal is being heard, or are the district courts just foot-dragging?

  • 20. RemC_Chicago  |  November 14, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Good question. I emailed Georgia Equality and asked for an update on their cases.

  • 21. jpmassar  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:10 am

    70 couples await decision allowing same-sex marriage in Johnson County

    Seventy same-sex couples in Johnson County are going to have to wait a little longer to wed despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision clearing the way for gay and lesbian couples to get married.

    Last month, the Kansas Supreme Court blocked an order issued by a Johnson County judge directing the court clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The judge issued the administrative order after the nation’s highest court let stand rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional.

    But the county cannot issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples until the Kansas Supreme Court orders otherwise.

    So far, 70 couples have filed marriage license applications with the county. Two women married just before the county was stopped from issuing any more marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    …Johnson County is unique because it is the only county in Kansas currently under orders from the state Supreme Court not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

  • 22. JayJonson  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I think a federal judge should hold the clerk of Johnson County in contempt.

  • 23. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:38 am

    He's a judge and not a clerk, and I think that's what the problem is…

  • 24. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Here's my take on Kansas……..for every day that Gay and Lesbian couples have to wait to marry, the State should lose X amount of Federal money….and the reason for me placing the X is because I'm NOT sure what amount would hurt the State, but if the State loses money and a lot of it…..I bet they will come under compliance rather quickly.

    Frankly I'm tired of these bigoted azzw!pes thinking they DON'T have to follow BINDING precedent from the 10th……..and right now, they think they have a solid argument because of the idiot Justices from the 6th and they DON'T!!

    Either Do the job and follow the Courts ruling or quit your job and allow others to get that job and do it!!!

  • 25. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I don't disagree, but it must be very confusing for someone to be told to do two opposite things between two courts and have to choose which one to disobey.

    I understand the difference (I think, since IANAL), but still…I don't think it's necessarily being done out of malice…as much as it has seriously negative consequences.

  • 26. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I can see your point, but some of those clerks are doing it out of malice……just like the AG and Governor are doing what they're doing because of how they feel about Gays and Lesbians having the same right as they do…… order to get folks to comply, sometimes drastic measures must be taken!!!

  • 27. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Yes, I know and definitely agree, I mean…read what Scottie wrote carefully:

    "In the Kansas Supreme Court, the judge who is currently blocked from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples filed a motion to lift the stay." Clearly he wants to be allowed to do his job, right?

  • 28. franklinsewell  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:50 am

    The judge in question issued an Administrative Order in Kansas directing other judges in his area of supervision to issue marriage licenses based on the 10th Circuit's decision. He answers to the KS Supreme Court, and so, the Atty Gen and Gubner in Kansas went to the Supreme Court to have the Administrative Order stayed. The judge has filed a motion with the KS SC to have the stay of his administrative order lifted so that he and other judges can now issue licenses.

  • 29. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    My question was rhetorical, but thank you, Franklin.

  • 30. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Just like the Clerk in PA who was NOT allowed to issue marriage licenses and then had to go back and ask the Court to lift the injunction against him……..these folks are trying to follow the law as they understand it and I appreciate their actions…..I DON'T like it when a State Supreme Court is being pulled into this issue and complicating it!!!

  • 31. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Oh, I SO agree. It's annoying beyond words.

  • 32. RobW303  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Ahem, the clerk of Johnson County is refusing to issue licenses (though I believe she's accepted over 70 applications) until there's a clear direction from the Kansas Supreme Court.

    If I were a Kansas clerk, I'd ask the US district court's office how widely their judge's ruling applies. The federal ruling trumps any state ruling to the extent it applies, and one can't rely on the opinion (probably faulty and self-aggrandizing) of the AG or of the Kansas Supreme Court.

  • 33. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Clearly Jay and I were talking about two different people then, yes?

  • 34. JayJonson  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Yes. The federal judge should clearly instruct the clerk (not the state judge who wants to do the right thing) to obey his decision or show why she should not be fined (or even jailed) for contempt of the federal court order.

  • 35. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    A local or state judge acting in a ministerial capacity (typical for issuance of marriage licenses) would probably be subject a directive from a federal judge.

  • 36. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you, Bob! You have no idea. You really cleared something up for me.

    I kept wracking my brain trying to clear that up. I knew there was a difference and someone wrote on it.

    Judicial vs ministerial. Gods, I could kiss you.

  • 37. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm


  • 38. Jaesun100  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Are all other Counties clear ?it sounds that way by the article

  • 39. Iggy_Schiller  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    And now even two counties that were not mentioned in the lawsuit are issuing licenses. The AG said he wanted only Douglas County and Sedgwick County to issue them if SCOTUS denied the stay.

    "As of midmorning Thursday, Douglas County District Judge Robert Fairchild had waived the waiting period for three couples and said he would consider similar requests on a case-by-case basis. Two couples received licenses in Sedgwick County, while judges in Cowley and Riley counties each had issued one marriage license to same-sex couples"

  • 40. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Good for them…….they know what is right and according to the ruling!!!

  • 41. Rik_SD  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:48 am

    From the Michigan decision, I like this calling out of the 6th:

    Since the injunction was issued, there has been a new development. This district court declared that Michigan’s marriage amendment (which prohibits same-sex marriage) violated the Equal Protection Clause because there was no rational basis for the State to deny the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. The Sixth Circuit reversed that decision, holding that states “retain authority” to regulate marriage by classifying who may marry; and if same-sex couples are denied that right, they can find no comfort in the Federal Constitution.
    DeBoer v. Snyder
    , — F.3d —-, 2014WL 5748990, at *11 (6th Cir. Nov. 4, 2014). But this case is not about marriage, as such, although allowing same-sex couples to marry would go a long way toward minimizing the discriminatory sting of the Public Employee Domestic Partner Benefit Restriction Act. Rather, this case deals with couples who cannot marry under state law and their families.
    It is one thing to say that states may cleave to the traditional definition of
    marriage as a means of encouraging biologically complimentary couples to stay together and raise the offspring they produce. DeBoer , 2014 WL 5748990, at *11. It is quite another to say that a state may adopt a narrow definition of family, and pass laws that penalize those unions and households that do not conform. See U.S. Dep’t of Agric. v. Moreno, 413 U.S. 528, 534-35 (1973). The former represents the application of a generous and deferential standard of reviewing legislative classifications, one that permits “legislative choices [that] may rest on ‘rational speculation unsupported by evidence or empirical data.’”
    DeBoer , 2014 WL 5748990, at *10 (quoting FCC v. Beach Commc’ns, Inc., 508 U.S. 307, 315 (1993)). The latter amounts to a classification based “on an irrational prejudice,” which cannot be sustained

  • 42. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:34 am


  • 43. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Does a couple of things: 1) Notes that a domestic partnership isn't a marriage and 2) provides a backhanded slap at Cook and Sutton.

  • 44. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Gotcha. Thank you.

  • 45. Eric  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Animus is not a public policy.

  • 46. StraightDave  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Oh, it certainly is in quite a few states, and they make no bones about it. It's just not a Constitutionally legitimate public policy.

  • 47. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Interesting that some of the recently-overturned marriage bans include expressions like "it is the public policy of this state…" as a way of attempting to invoke the Public Policy Exception to FF&C. However what the people who crafted those laws don't understand is that the policy itself must still withstand at least rational basis review. It has to have a reason separate from it being the purpose of the law. The Public Policy Exception is not the "get out of jail free card" that the haters thought it would be.

  • 48. franklinsewell  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I have to pipe up and say thank you to my Governor, Attorney General, and Solicitor General in the state of Nevada. Their brief on CPM's request for rehearing en banc is clear, concise, and to the point. They directly address the harms that would accrue to now-married couples were the request to be granted.

  • 49. jlvnv  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I agree. Sandoval, Cortez-Masto, and Howle did what the others should have done. Tara Borelli's response, particularly addressing the assertion of impropriety, was masterfully crafted.

  • 50. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:55 am

    The AG of South Carolina DOES know that the 4th is GOING to slap him while denying his appeal, right?

  • 51. Eric  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm


  • 52. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Then that just shows his STUPIDITY…….I mean the Kansas AG and Governor just got smacked down from SCOTUS and the 10th…….and the 4th is GOING to do the same as will SCOTUS!!!

  • 53. ebohlman  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Not stupidity. Venality. He knows that he won't succeed, but trying, regardless of the outcome, will score him some points with donors for his future campaigns. Almost all, if not all, of the briefs written in defense of marriage bans aren't really addressed to the courts; they're addressed to people with more money than sense.

  • 54. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Knows. Doesn't believe it.

  • 55. StraightDave  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Even if he does believe it at some level, he doesn't care. The 4th CA doesn't sign his pay check. He has higher priorities. Right and wrong has long ago deserted some of these guys.

  • 56. yyyAllenyyy  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    And then to SCOTUS where the Justice who will hear the appeal from the 4th is Roberts. I wonder if he will just deny the stay or refer it to the whole court like Sotomayor.

  • 57. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    It is better at this point to refer to the entire Court because if Roberts denies the Stay on his own….the folks from SC can go and find a Justice who might grant the Stay…….even though ANYTHING from the 4th has already been dealt with!!!

  • 58. RobW303  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    It's a necessary step in order to get the case in front of the US Supreme Court, the only real chance South Carolina officials have to get their limiting definition of marriage upheld. They're banking on SCOTUS granting cert and upholding some case from the 6th or 5th circuit (which could yet happen, regardless of the smoke signals we've seen so far). They have to keep their case alive or they'd have to start from scratch should such a ruling come down. If you had the same goal as the AG, you'd do exactly the same thing, regardless of any "slapping" you might get in the process. It's only words, and he has broad support in the state, so any loss is hardly likely to hurt him politically.

  • 59. franklinsewell  |  November 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Apparently not, RnL. 😉 The SC Atty General asked the 4th Circuit for a stay. The 4th Circuit asked for briefs due on 11/17 (district judge's stay lifts 11/20).

  • 60. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Content to be addressed in the state's brief: Why "binding precedent" doesn't apply to South Carolina.

  • 61. Zack12  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    The only argument they could come up with is their ban wasn't as severe as VA's.
    Other then that, they have nothing.

  • 62. StraightDave  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I think their argument was that the 6th's ruling changed everything, including what happens in the 4th. Completely ignoring, of course, that neither the 10th nor SCOTUS seemed particularly swayed by Sutton.

    When you see the shit still being flung around out in NV and ID, although they are all dead as dirt and people continue to get married left, right, and center, it's clear there just aren't any limits to the madness.

  • 63. Rick55845  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    True. And another thing that is true is that the madness you speak of is fueled almost entirely by animus. Well, probably entirely, after all.

  • 64. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    And of course the restrictions above and beyond strictly banning marriages aren't the important parts of the Fourth Circuit's ruling. Those added portions go down with it but the ban is what's central to the decision. A ban is a ban. No in-state marriages; no recognition of out-of-state marriages.

  • 65. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    That DOESN'T mean the 4th is going to grant the Stay…it just means that they want briefs to see if their might be anything new, but I seriously doubt the 4th will grant the Stay.

  • 66. franklinsewell  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Of course it doesn't mean the stay will be granted. I doubt so, as well.

  • 67. RQO  |  November 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Not in a million years. Just judges bending over backwards to appear polite and even-handed lest some crazies start bombing Fort Sumter again.

  • 68. Jaesun100  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    On the South Carolina case when do we expect the appeal to be denied?just wondering on any time frames…,

  • 69. StraightDave  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    The stay expires at Noon on Nov 20, so I figure shortly before that. Likely to be 2 successive motions by SC, but just on a stay pending appeal, to the 4th and then to SCOTUS. The actual appeal of the district judge's ruling may take a lot longer, but that doesn't matter if there's no stay in place.

  • 70. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    When I think of a conflict regarding a federal question between a State Supreme Court and a Federal District Court, these images from a timeless comic book come to mind (you can guess who's who):

  • 71. franklinsewell  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Look at the little gem I found – An order on an immigration case on which Scalia and Thomas wrote a dissent. They mention the gay marriage cases:

  • 72. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm


  • 73. TDGrove  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    That is quite the judicial tantrum. Not quite the "argle-bargle" of Scalia, but you get a sense for the bitterness of the person in those words.

  • 74. ebohlman  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Thomas curiously omitted Bogan v. Baskin (IN) from his list of denied petitions.

  • 75. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Perhaps it's because it didn't involve an amendment to a state constitution?

  • 76. JayJonson  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for finding this. Scalia can barely contain himself. He knows the jig is up.

  • 77. hopalongcassidy  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Careful, you will be excoriated for racism.

  • 78. mariothinks  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Geez. What are you even talking about? Get over people's races. First it was with Sotomayor and now with Thomas. You openly admit you have a race problem when you bring it up and it isn't remotely related to the conversation at hand.

  • 79. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Political/Judicial philosophy is completely related to the color of one's skin?

    Judge Posner is a white person, and he is FOR ME.

    Judge Sutton is a white person, and he is AGAINST ME.

  • 80. RobW303  |  November 14, 2014 at 9:09 am

    And then there's Clarence Thomas, who is for himself.

  • 81. StraightDave  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I got the joke and reference, Hopalong. But that's because I'm real old. It went over their heads. Don't worry about it. A lame joke, perhaps, but still a joke.

  • 82. Deeelaaach  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I'm in my mid 40's and I also understood the reference.

  • 83. mariothinks  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I join my colleagues in denying this application only because there appears to be no “reasonable probability that four Justices will consider the issue sufficiently meritorious to grant certiorari."

    Wow this reassures our prediction that they don't have 4 votes. I wonder who else jumped ship with Kennedy? Roberts or Alito? Because we definitely know it wasn't Thomas or Scalia.

  • 84. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Between Roberts and Alito, I'd guess Roberts.

  • 85. mariothinks  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I watched the Yale alumni interview with Alito, Sotomayor, and Thomas and Sotomayor mentioned that she, Kagan, and the Chief Justice went out for lunch. And I thought to myself that they're trying to butter him up to the liberal cause lol. Did you catch that interview? It's on scotusblog.

  • 86. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Oh? No. I'll check it out!

  • 87. mariothinks  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I'll save you the trouble 🙂

  • 88. Raga  |  November 14, 2014 at 12:49 am

    Just finished watching the whole thing. Got to see a whole different side of these Justices – didn't know they could be this funny! Thanks for the pointer 🙂

  • 89. Steve84  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Roberts is an asshat, but given his relatively young age he really does have to worry about his reputation and the reputation of the court. He knows that a decision upholding the bans won't be judged well by history.

  • 90. jdw_karasu  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I don't think Roberts cares too much. We are talking about the person who love striking down civil rights law.

  • 91. ebohlman  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    We can't actually conclude that this means that Scalia and Thomas voted to grant cert on the marriage cases. If they were acting like adults it would, but that would be assuming facts not in evidence. It's entirely possible that they thought that cert should be granted and the rulings overturned, but they voted against because they believed that granting cert would lead to them being upheld. They're both the sort of people who feel entitled to have it both ways.

  • 92. JayJonson  |  November 14, 2014 at 10:58 am


  • 93. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Admirable sentiments.

  • 94. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    That's precious really. I was waiting for the court to act on the proposition 100 case as well out of pure judicial interest, but I did not see Thomas writing on that, essentially to blast the denial of cert and stays to marriage cases. They are both maaaad, like really mad and that can only make me happy.
    Well Clarence if the reasons your fellow justices denied cert to decisions striking down state constitutional amendments escape you, when you are inside the procedures, guess how much we can get out of that. Essentially he says nothing about the Arizona case in these two pages, he just wants to talk about marriage cases.
    Anything that makes Thomas and Scalia feel less optimistic can only make me happy and hopeful !

  • 95. LK2013  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Thomas wrote a dissent today (Scalia joins him) in an Arizona case that sheds a little light on Thomas/Scalia's attitude toward the denial of cert in the same-sex marriage cases (guess what, they don't like it):

  • 96. franklinsewell  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    LK – I just mentioned that in the post above – Starting with "Look at the little gem I found.."

  • 97. LK2013  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    That's so weird – even though the site is showing you now posting that 5 minutes before me, it wasn't there when I posted! Oh, well. Great minds think alike and all.

  • 98. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    He did not dissent essentially. He joined but just to whine like a 5 year old and throw darts to the rest of the court for denying cert to the marriage cases. He is like : " since they denied those they will never grant these ones because they are so irresponsible !"

  • 99. Retired_Lawyer  |  November 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    That is indeed a little gem. Justices Scalia and Thomas contend that the Supreme Court should more or less automatically review a decision by a Circuit holding a State law unconstitutional in the same way the Court reviews a Circuit decision invalidating a Federal law. The Court does not follow that practice, at least not with any regularity. That still does not explain why these two did not dissent from the denial of cert in the marriage equality cases, but did dissent from the Court's decision not to stay the Kansas injunction.

  • 100. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I guess they lost it when the Court denied Kansas's stay even after the Sixth Circuit created a split.

  • 101. Brad_1  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Scalia and Thomas do make a cute couple.

  • 102. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Maybe they should get married……or maybe they are and that's why they always vote the same…!!!

  • 103. RQO  |  November 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    If they are registered, I'm sending the empty Coke cans.

  • 104. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    I'll send them some stuff from an adult store…..seems like both of them need to relax a little….lol!!!

  • 105. ebohlman  |  November 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    For Thomas, a Coke can is "stuff from an adult store".

  • 106. RnL2008  |  November 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Well, that explains a lot…….lol!!!

  • 107. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    In all honesty, Scalia and Thomas are late to the party. They obviously voted to grant cert to the cases that were denied on Oct.6. Why not make that cute speech then or when the court denied stays to Idaho and Alaska ?
    And even more importantly : they noted their dissents to the Kansas stay application, why not write this bitter protest there but choose an unrelated case ?
    I can think of a reason : They may thought that with the marriage cases it was an isolated choice, and the others opted to stay out of this particular issue. Now that another decision on a totally different issue striking down a constitutional amendment is left untouched, they see a trend developing probably of SCOTUS staying out of controversies it would step right in in the past.

    One thing we can get is that the climate is not much in their favour when it comes to the marriage cases in SCOTUS, which is a good thing.

    One has to wonder if indeed they find themselves alone in this, if both Alito and Roberts feel much less passionate about this at the very least (I would dare say they might even vote with the rest of the judges when the time comes – reversing the 6th – but more careful users here will rightfully rebuke me) and they have voted to deny certs and stays. And if that denial of stay has been the last drop for the two most extreme right wing members of the court, who can hardly contain their anger anymore inside the walls of the Supreme Court building.

    I am curious to see how they will handle the decisions from the 6th. At first glance it would be evident that they would vote to grant cert. But if we look at it deeper they may be the most passionate supporters of cert denial, especially given what Thomas wrote on this denial of stay. Here the bans were upheld (the position they favor) and so no constitutional amendment was struck down, plus they can again argue that "you denied the previous ones, why grant that one". Plus they may want to stop the court now from reversing that decision and delay things even more, hoping for a change in the court that will favour their position.

    Because this bitter concurrence makes it clear : they are both facing an uphill battle when it comes to marriage and they may even have against them, at least to the enthusiasm to uphold the bans, even members they considered reliable allies so far such as Alito and Roberts. Kennedy seems out of reach to them.

  • 108. Brad_1  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Anyone know what circuits Scalia and Thomas preside over (not sure if that's right phrase)–where they are first point of contact regarding stays?

    I wonder if they would automatically grant a stay regarding marriage-equality cases in those circuits rather than referring issue to whole Supreme Court.

  • 109. Leo  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Fifth and Eleventh.

  • 110. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Scalia is for the 5th (fitting isn't it ?) and Thomas for the 11th, both with cases before them. But if we were to get to the point where these circuits would issue a decision, I do hope they would have the dignity to refer it to the full court (Thomas for the 11th that is since the 5th would – and will if it has the time – uphold the bans anyway..)

  • 111. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    As I understand things, when someone goes to the supervising justice to request a stay of a lower court decision and the stay is denied, they can continue to judge-shop until three other judges say no. Or they can request a stay from the entire court. On the other hand if the stay is granted, the plaintiffs can appeal to the full court. So matter what happens the entire court is going to hear any request for a stay and, assuming the lower court ruling is in our favor, the stay will be denied.

  • 112. montezuma58  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Scalia would grant any stays just out of spite and to delay things if just for a few hours. And give himself another opportunity to write something whiny.

  • 113. SeattleRobin  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Eh, I'm not sure I agree. While I have little good to say about Scalia, he does take his position and the practices of the court very seriously. While he may vehemently disagree on many matters with the liberals, he also has a great deal of respect for at least some of them. So aside from the shopping around thing, I think he would refer it to the rest of the court out of respect, since it's pretty obvious it's what they've agreed should be done.

  • 114. DrBriCA  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Scalia is the circuit justice for the 5th circuit. Given how conservative the 5th circuit already is, it's unlikely that they will rule in favor of ME on their two upcoming cases (TX, LA), let alone deny a stay request should Mississippi soon rule our way. In other words, a stay will likely be in place long before it would need to get up to Scalia.

    Thomas is the circuit justice for the 11th. This makes the Florida case more interesting, with the current district ruling's temporary stay set to expire in early January. AG Bondi could request a stay from the 11th, and if denied, then Thomas is next up on Bondi's request chain of command.

  • 115. jpmassar  |  November 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Wedding bells in Kansas

    "We got it!" Joleen Hickman said as she held up her marriage license to cheers, The Manhattan Mercury reported.

    She and Darci Bohnenblust, her partner of 19 years, said their vows before the Rev. Caela Simmons Wood declared that "by the power of your love, and in the presence of all the witnesses gathered here today, and perhaps most importantly for this moment as recognized by the state of Kansas, I now pronounce that you are legally married."

  • 116. LK2013  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Montana marriage hearing scheduled for November 20 just cancelled, according to Equality Case Files (no idea what this means):

    Rolando v. Fox (Montana marriage)

    In a docket text order, Judge Morris has cancelled the hearing set for November 20 in Great Falls.

    "TEXT ORDER Vacating Hearing on Motion 35 MOTION for Summary Judgment : Motion Hearing set for 11/20/2014 at 01:30 PM is Vacated. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 11/13/2014. (SLL, ) (Entered: 2014-11-13) (Entered: 11/13/2014)"

  • 117. DrBriCA  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Does this mean he's ready to rule on the briefs alone without a hearing? (Which he should, considering circuit precedence given BOTH Latta and SmithKline)

  • 118. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Oh I am not sure that's good..Does he want to delay things after the ruling from the 6th ? Or rule without oral arguments ?
    Personally I don't feel too good about that..

  • 119. DrBriCA  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I wonder if he means he will rule without arguments, as he used the word 'vacate' instead of 'postpone' or' stay' (if he really wanted to be crappy and stay until the circuit split is resolved). Vacate would imply that the initial order scheduling arguments is now fully cancelled. Perhaps SCOTUS not granting the Kansas stay is showing him that he can't escape this ruling.

  • 120. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Well the situation between Kansas and Montana is not the same. The cases from the 10th were denied cert, the Idaho case from the 9th has not and it is a candidate, likely or not, for SCOTUS review after the split from the 6th.

    That's why I think it may not be as positive as you interpret it.

  • 121. DrBriCA  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Aside from Childs' glacial pace with the marriage-recognition issue for SC, he's the last holdout for the circuits that have ruled in favor of marriage equality. Kansas and SC have gone our way, and SCOTUS isn't stopping those marriages, nor did it stop Alaska and Idaho in his own circuit. Hopefully Judge Morris just wants to issue the ruling and be done with the whole thing instead of taking up hours next Thursday on a done deal.

  • 122. franklinsewell  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    They may have had a phone conference like the judge in SC. Who knows? Judge Morris is an Obama appointee. He may decided to rule without a hearing.

  • 123. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I checked PACER. If there had been a phone conference, there would have been a record of it. But there's nothing. The judge has canceled it on his own. I think the judge finally got around to reading the briefs in preparation for the hearing and concluded he didn't need a hearing after all. Remember that even though he is bound by 9th Circuit precedent to strike down Montana's ban on the merits, he first needs to make sure he can get to the merits. We don't think about it much in our discussions here, but judges take standing and other threshold questions very seriously – recall the Kansas decision spent much of the opinion thoroughly dismissing the numerous threshold issues raised, before reaching the merits. Perhaps he felt a hearing would be necessary at first, but now that he's read the briefs, he changed his mind.

  • 124. LK2013  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    That would be wonderful. Just get to the darn decision at this point.

  • 125. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Does anybody know what's the deal with someone named Anita Hill and Thomas and some sexual harrassment claims ? I have been reading comments about it on Facebook after Thomas's bitter speech and I have no clue !

  • 126. ebohlman  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Do a Wikipedia search on "Anita Hill". In short, when Thomas was nominated to the SCOTUS, Hill accused him of sexually harassing her while he was her supervisor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It became a major controversy during his confirmation hearings in the Senate and was a huge national story.

  • 127. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I will look intoit, just can't do it conveniently now, I on my cell and was dying to know what that was about !
    Sounds juicy and something I did not have Thomas as capable of doing..But then it's always the quiet ones…Thanks for the info !

  • 128. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Right wing senators did their best to discredit Anita Hill's testimony against Thomas. If you have ever seen a button that reads, "I believe you, Anita," this what the button refers to.

  • 129. Eric  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    During Thomas's confirmation hearing, there were allegations of prior sexual harassment.

  • 130. dlejrmex  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I remember watching the confirmation hearing on TV. Thomas made my skin crawl. I felt that she was describing a painful incident but the same "tea-party" people really went after her.

  • 131. StraightDave  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    She almost sunk his SCOTUS confirmation hearings. Lurid details. Credible witness, but ultimately ignored by the Senate. That dominated the news back then.
    I'm sure Google will help you.

  • 132. montezuma58  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    The Saturday Night Live parody of the hearings were hilarious. Chris Farley was perfect fit for the role of Howell Heflin.

  • 133. StraightDave  |  November 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Was that the Long Dong Silver episode? Seems like just yesterday.

  • 134. BenG1980  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I know you didn't intend for that to be funny, but your question just made me laugh. The Anita Hill sexual harassment controversy is probably the first thing most Americans think of when they hear the name "Clarence Thomas." I remember watching the confirmation hearings at age 11.

  • 135. ebohlman  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Any joke that involves both pubic hairs and Coke cans is a reference to the controversy.

  • 136. LK2013  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Oh my, I thought this was a joke at first … now I am feeling old! Anyone who remembers the hearings thinks of them first thing when we think of Thomas. Anita Hall, who had worked for Thomas at the EEOC, had a law degree from Yale (she's a law professor at Brandeis now), and was an elegant, composed, thoroughly credible witness. The stories she told about sexual harassment by Thomas were believable, and totally creepy. She passed a lie detector test, she had supporting witnesses (reportedly kept out by political shenanigans), and she was sadly disregarded. Which is how we ended up with a very impaired man as a Supreme Court Justice. Joe Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee that held the hearings in 1991 – and it was shameful that Clarence Thomas was confirmed.

    I believe Anita.

  • 137. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    WellI given that Thomas was confirmed under Reagan and I was born when G.H.W. Bush was president, I definately did not see it live plus I am not american so I probably wouldn't know it even if I was born back then haha !
    Sickening that such a man has so much power in his hands and sickening that the senate confirmed him. I wonder how this woman feels today, seeing his vote essentially deciding such major cases for the country such as Hobby Lobby, McCutcheon etc…It's a disgrace especially given the vast divide of SCOTUS today and how one vote makes the difference..

  • 138. LK2013  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    It's an incident that is well worth revisiting. Clarence Thomas was being accused of egregious misconduct, and there was also serious concern about the thinness of his legal background. Thomas then pulled the race card, and accused the Senators of engaging in a "high-tech lynching." The issues of race and sex seemed to unhinge the mostly white male Senators – including Joe Biden – and hence the catastrophe of Thomas' confirmation unfolded.

    The NY Times summarized some of these issues again in 2008:

    And earlier this year, in March, Anita Hill spoke out and accused Joe Biden of "botching" the Thomas confirmation hearings:

  • 139. BenG1980  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Slight correction: Thomas was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court by George H.W. Bush. Reagan left office in January 1989, and Bush served from then until January 1993.

    Interestingly, Thomas was confirmed by the Senate at least twice because he served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit before joining the U.S. Supreme Court in October 1991. He also may have been confirmed by the Senate a third time as Chairman of the EEOC during the Reagan Administration, but I haven't been able to definitively determine that.

  • 140. RQO  |  November 13, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Yes, I feel old, too. This was yesterday, right?? "No Coke, Pepsi".

  • 141. franklinsewell  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Everyone … if you'll remember, like Raga, guitaristbl is one of our colleagues from outside of the U.S.

  • 142. brandall  |  November 13, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    With no offense to guitaristbl, my buddy Raga knows more about American history (not just the legal sector) than most Americans born and raised here.

  • 143. guitaristbl  |  November 14, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Well to my defense I don't even live in the US currently and I was not even born when this happened. I can't know everything..

  • 144. RemC_Chicago  |  November 14, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Seems like you almost do. Your grasp of the details is impressive. No excuses necessary.

  • 145. Waxr  |  November 14, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I recall the hearings. I was still a Republican back then, but I believed her story. The American Bar Association gave Thomas the lowest rating they ever gave a Supreme Court nominee. The Bush administration was so intent on pushing the confirmation through that it brought in a busload of witnesses in to discredit Hill. The witnesses were hurriedly gathered. None of the witnesses had any serious complaints about Hill, they just put her down.

    One of the witnesses brought in to discredit Hill was a man whose complaint was that Hill somehow wrangled him into making a date with her, and he couldn't tell her "No". He didn't show up for the date. My reaction was that if this man couldn't say "No," he was lucky he was not a woman.

  • 146. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Kansas SC scheduled a hearing on Monday on the marriage issue according to lgbtqnation.

  • 147. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    The official news release doesn't mention a hearing. Only that the Justices would begin deliberations at 8am and would release a decision as soon as they are done deliberating. Does this mean a decision could come any time after 8am on Monday?

  • 148. LK2013  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    The sooner the better …

  • 149. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Sounds good to me ! The Kansas SC has a majority of appointees by a democratic governor btw. Not that will change the essence of the case, they can't do anything to stop ME, but they may step aside an hour sooner and not try to delay and complicate things to appease Brownback.

  • 150. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    The announcement seems so odd – the court will begin deliberations… Do they announce it every time they begin deliberating a case? Should we wait for smoke of a certain color to rise from the top of the courthouse's dome on Monday?

  • 151. Brad_1  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    (More likely we'll see smoke of a certain color rising from the US Supreme Court now that voters in DC have voted to legalize pot.)

  • 152. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Perhaps, just perhaps Scalia and Thomas are now visibly hand waving (dissenting) to send signals to the 5th and 8th and maybe 1st CA, that they're taking on water and the other three conservatives have or are ready to jump ship. The message they're sending could be this: HEY, it's just the two of us, either read the hand writing on the wall or start directing your opinions to Roberts, and Alito and of course Kennedy, you lower courts need to get them back because right now Clarence and I (Scalia) need a life line as our ship is sinking fast and the other three rats will abandon unless you [lower circuits] give us some ballast and better arguments in favor of denying marriage to those HomoSEXUALS. That's my take.

  • 153. Zack12  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I don't think Kennedy is going to care what the conservatives on the circuits tell him.
    He is going to be the fifth vote, period.

  • 154. LK2013  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Well, they certainly sound petulant and desperate. Made me smile.

  • 155. jdw_karasu  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    The 1st is 4-2 Dem. We're not losing there. Even is we somehow get a bad draw, they'll en banc it back in our direction.

    As far as directing opinions at Judge Kennedy, the judges siding with our side having been doing it since Judge Walker. Honestly, if Kennedy had to decide straight up whether to uphold Judge Walker's opinion or not, with no get out of jail cards, he would have sided with Judge Walker.

  • 156. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 14, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Of course the courts have been directing their opinions at Kennedy… It's well understood he's the swing vote on this and many issues. My point is that there is a message or signal from the two in yesterday's stay denial. SCOTUS has been speaking as one on these stays since the Prop 8 days. But for the first time since 2008 in these cases, two of the conservatives are not of accord and publicly saying so. TWO.

    I believe all 9 of the supremes have made their decision and nothing at Oral arguments or in the Attorneys or amicus briefs are going to influence any of them to change their vote. That doesn't mean Scalia and Thomas aren't going to try to get more support from the conservatives in courts below. At this point, it's all political with these two. They could be sending a message to the republican govs and AGs, you're wasting your time and energy, as it's only me and Clarence that are voting to keep out the homoSEXUALS from our man/woman marriage country club. Time for republicobs to capitulate and concentrate on some other wedge issue for the 2016 Whitehouse run. I'm also sure that if they're going to lose the war here, Scalia would prefer a 5-4 loss over a 6-3 or 7-2 loss. Scalia already has his rough draft scathing dissent written for the final round. He'd prefer to have Roberts and Alito as well as Thomas concur and back up his scathing legal argle bargle. Just sayin…

  • 157. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Your comment just created the image in my head of me standing on a beach of an island, while Thomas and Scalia are on a sinking ship far from the shore, waving their hands and shouting like mad men for someone to hear them while Kennedy, Roberts and Alito are leaving the ship on life boats…

    Oh that smell of desperation that reeks from that concurrence to denial of stay from Thomas..It's soo good !

  • 158. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 14, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Well good. That's exactly the image I intended to portray

  • 159. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    South Carolina has asked the 4th Circuit for an emergency stay (response due Monday 10am), and their principal argument appears to be that Baker v. Nelson, being a Supreme Court case, should be the one that controls as opposed to Bostic v. Schaefer, which is only a 4th Circuit case. Good luck with that.

  • 160. guitaristbl  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    What happened to "our ban is different from the others" ? Now we are back to Baker again ? Even if doctrinal developments before Oct 6 meant nothing, the denial of cert to cases that basically said Baker was irrelevant speaks volumes. Baker is essentially dead by now and to be honest it has been since the first state enacted ME in 2003. Each of those AGs citing Baker forget what the summary dismissal from SCOTUS said essentially : "for lack of substantial federal question". The federal question came at play when Massachusetts enacted ME, under the fully functional version of DOMA even. End of story.

  • 161. Raga  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I think that plays into their argument that Baker is more relevant to their case than Bostic. Plus, they're making that and other arguments "in the alternative". To the extent that Bostic controls, they say they will argue that it was decided wrongly and like Kansas, ask for an initial hearing en banc. I can't help but think of Judge Daughtrey's words: Baker lacks only a stake through its heart! I didn't think I could grow any more annoyed and tired with seeing the Baker argument still being used again and again, but I was wrong! This one makes me want to walk to my office right now in this freezing weather, print a copy of the argument, and run it through the shredder.

  • 162. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Baker needs to retire from baking

  • 163. brandall  |  November 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Or we need to just refer to the butcher and the candlestick maker and skip the third one.

  • 164. ragefirewolf  |  November 13, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Meat, fire, and no bread? Works for me!

  • 165. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Baker is dead…….and by the way, here's a little know secret about the couple involved in that case:
    Before the Minnesota court halted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, which were not forbidden by existing statutes,[4] Baker and McConnell re-applied, this time in Blue Earth County, succeeded and became the “first same-sex couple in history to be legally married”.[5] The 1972 decision "does not reach back to Baker and McConnell" since the two obtained their license and were married "a full six weeks"[6] previously. The National Archives came to the same conclusion.[7]

  • 166. sfbob  |  November 13, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Baker and McConnell are still alive. And still married.

  • 167. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Yes and they have been married almost 40 years now!!!

  • 168. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 14, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Well geez, they're going to give marriage a good name. Most republican presidential candidates are on their third or fourth wife, by that time. Ronnie Ragan was only on his second. Newt Gingrinch is on what, third, fourth wife? And John McCain? He trades his wives in for newer models. And that doesn't speak to Rush or glen beck… They have reserved parking up front at divorce court and @ the county clerk's office. With republicans Divorce and marrying UP is a fundamental right, regardless of what the god book says.

  • 169. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 14, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Even Scalia would adimit that Baker is DEAD DEAD DEAD, just like the Constitution. Kennedy mortally wounded Baker with Romer and then put Baker in CCU on life support with Lawrence. He stabbed Baker in the heart and killed Baker with the Sword of Windsor, as he screamed DIE DIE DIE! as Dark Lady, RGB, laughed and danced and lit the candles one by one in the back ground.
    The republicans just don't know when to give up the dead.

  • 170. SteveThomas1  |  November 14, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Everyone knows that Baker v. Nelson is dead, even the guys pressing it most strongly. And I presume that pretty much everyone knows that the main arguments concerning the presumed "rational bases" of marriage equality bans are ludicrously weak. The problem is that those are pretty much the only arguments available to the opponents of marriage equality, and if one *has* to make arguments those are the ones you're stuck with. (Folks with a deep foot in natural law thinking, like Justice Alito, may actually believe in a distinction between "conjugate marriage" and "affectionate marriage" – but that's really a theological distinction, even when garbed in legalese.)

    A few years ago I discovered the Oyez Project website (, which makes recordings of oral arguments before the Supreme Court available. Somehow I happened upon a pretty obscure case called JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Travel Stream (BVI) Infrastructure Ltd., 536 U.S. 88 (2002). The oral argument can be found at…. The thing about this case is that it should never really have made it to the Supreme Court at all. The issue was diversity jurisdiction: Travel Stream maintained that because it was a resident of the British Virgin Islands (which is a foreign jurisdiction but not an independent state) there was no diversity jurisdiction with Chase Bank, a New York resident. This is an absurd conclusion, sort of like arguing that the earth is really flat, but Travel Stream got the 2nd Circuit to buy it. When I listened to the oral argument I understood why: the advocate for Travel Stream was spectacularly good. He managed to make an absurd conclusion sound reasonable. Of course, he lost, in a unanimous decision finding that, yes the earth really is flat.

    That case did not involve any matters of deep constitutional principle. It was mainly about whether the judgment of the district court, which awarded damages to the bank, would be maintained. But one has to grant respect for the lawyer who against all odds did a spectacularly good job at making arguments that didn't ultimately stand up to scrutiny. It was, after all, his job to try to get his client out of paying the money they owed if he could.

    For public servants, rather than for lawyers as hired guns aiming for the best interests of their clients, a very strong case can be made that continuing the scorched earth tactics we are seeing in Kansas and South Carolina is immoral. (It's certainly now a waste of public resources.) I have a great deal of respect for the public servants who acknowledge that the battle has been lost for their side and decline to press it quixotically further. The governors and attorneys general of Nevada and West Virginia, for example, are models of how to respond to these developments.

    Sorry if I'm being long-winded, but I have been a little flummoxed by folks who react to the stupidity of the arguments being made by ascribing that stupidity to the folks making them. I've never thought that there were good arguments on the other side, and anyone who reads a lot of the papers being produced is aware that the available arguments are being recycled over and over again, to the point of tedium. But I expect that most (certainly not all) of the opponents are aware that their arguments are flimsy at best. But they're the only arguments they have. So they keep making them.

  • 171. RobW303  |  November 14, 2014 at 9:03 am

    The response to that is the 6th Circuit, Louisiana and Puerto Rico, where the flimsy arguments still prevailed, and we know that SCOTUS will reiterate and reinforce those flimsy arguments if they can get a simple majority, based on sheer religious animus and ick-factor bias, to side in upholding the bans. Where there's a will, the Constitution can be twisted to say anything you want it to (just like the Christian mythology).

  • 172. RnL2008  |  November 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    What bothers me or infuriates me is that these idiots are willing to go past all of the Court rulings in our favor including the precedent in Bostic……to try and salvage some dead ruling that is OBVIOUSLY not worth anything and if this DOESN'T show animus….what will?

  • 173. dorothyrothchild  |  November 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Out of the Topeka Capital Journal, finaly a happy news story from pastors there. Plus, who wouldn't want to be married by Drew Carrie?

  • 174. EllieInMalibu  |  November 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Westboro could learn from these pastors.

  • 175. RemC_Chicago  |  November 14, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I love being a member of the UCC and this is a good example of why.

  • 176. flyerguy77  |  November 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Is ACLU Kansas doing something about this? I understand about Johnson County . Can they go to Federal Court tomorrow and tell the judge to tell all counties you must allow court's decision or FACE contempt of court?

  • 177. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 14, 2014 at 2:19 am

    The governor that would be arrested for contempt of court is Rick Perry. But he'll likely be out of office by the time the 5th gets around to ruling in 2015, if not later. If he's convicted on his federal indightment, perhap he'll "shack up" with Blagonovich, in the big house they'll be sharing for 15-20, since he doesn't support marriage equality.

  • 178. Raga  |  November 14, 2014 at 8:02 am

    What does Rick Perry have to do with Kansas?

  • 179. flyerguy77  |  November 14, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Wrong state.

  • 180. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 14, 2014 at 8:22 am

    The governor that would probably go all the way to the plate and be arrested for contempt of court is Rick Perry,.. the Kansas Gov on the other hand would capitulate before contempting the court and risk jail time. But Perry will likely be out of office by the time the 5th gets around to ruling in 2015

  • 181. RnL2008  |  November 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    This is beginning to sound like what the proponents of Prop 8 tried to insist with regards to California and that because Judge Walker ONLY had the authority in LA County and San Fran County, the State DIDN'T have to issue marriage licenses ANYWHERE else and that was BS then and is BS now….and the Governor and AG know this!!!

  • 182. flyerguy77  |  November 14, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Correction: it was Alameda County and LA Counties I was looking at the list in Kansas where they are still denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples and it PISSES ME OFF,… I'm waiting for Monday to see if KSC lifts the stay, likely they will. After the decision will the same counties still deny marriage licenses? I believe ACLU is getting ready to go to court if they are still denying ML next week

  • 183. RnL2008  |  November 14, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    You're right…my bad:(

  • 184. F_Young  |  November 14, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Off topic: Transgender discrimination ban prevails in Miami-Dade panel, despite opposition

    "After a public hearing that lasted nearly four hours, the commission’s Public Safety & Animal Services Committee voted 3-1 to bring the legislation to the full board for final approval, probably next month."

  • 185. guitaristbl  |  November 14, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Brown calls Brownback to continue enforcing the marriage ban. He calls him to "reject the idea that Kansas must abandon marriage because out of control federal judges say so." :

  • 186. RemC_Chicago  |  November 14, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Oh, jeepers. Let's have some data, BB. How has ME in the states that allow it impacted marriage? Are churches closing shop? Is Vera Wang going out of business? Are parents leaving their children at the door of orphanages? I know this is all money-making grandstanding for you, but couldn't you at least try to come up with a credible argument, no matter how implausible? No? You say you can't come up with one because no such argument exists? Well, then, here's the address for the closest unemployment office. And a voucher for free psychiatric help. Maybe you and Tony P and some of your other pals can start a support group. Repressed Homosexuals Anonymous.

  • 187. guitaristbl  |  November 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

    That's not even the main issue here, what Brown and his pals think about ME and the doom it brings to society. They call for civil disobedience simply because they do not like the decisions from the courts. That's absurd.

  • 188. RemC_Chicago  |  November 14, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Yes, but it's also beyond absurd. Potentially dangerous too.

  • 189. RnL2008  |  November 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    The National Guard can be brought in to make sure that the State of Kansas follows the law and if idiots from NOM, FRC or any other anti-gay organization DOESN'T like it, then they can pack up and move to Iran or Russia……I mean they are behind all of those anit-gay laws being passed in the first place!!!

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