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Equality news round-up: Opening brief filed in Eleventh Circuit challenge to Florida’s marriage ban, and more

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BREAKING UPDATE: The ACLU is challenging Nebraska’s same-sex marriage ban in federal court. You can read more from the ACLU here.

– The opening brief in the Eleventh Circuit challenge to Florida’s same-sex marriage ban has been filed. The brief was filed by state officials in defense of the ban.

– The challenge to South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban moves forward, as the federal judge has declined to dismiss the case.

– The plaintiffs in the South Carolina marriage case oppose a stay in the Fourth Circuit.

– Briefs have been filed in the Kansas Supreme Court on the question of the stay issued by that court, and the question of whether the case should be put on hold pending the outcome of the federal case. Judge Moriarty (who initially granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples) and Clerk McCurdy’s brief is here. The Kansas AG’s response is here.

– Michigan’s attorney general argues in a new filing that the state’s existing same-sex marriages are void.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. DACiowan  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:16 am

    The Nebraska case is filed: Waters v. Heineman

  • 2. Raga  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I hope the Michigan plaintiffs get moving today.
    If Michigan doesn't get an extension from the Supreme Court to file its response, then the petition will be ready, as the article says, for the first conference in January.

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:25 am

    They will ask for an extension I think, anything to drag things out.

  • 4. DeadHead  |  November 17, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Is there a rule as to how much advance notice they have to ask for an extension or can they wait until the last few days to do that? How many votes does it take from SCOTUS to grant an extension if the state does ask for it? I have a horrible feeling Michigan is going to ask for an extension just to delay it from being heard for this term hoping that RBG might resign.

  • 5. guitaristbl  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Michigan plaintiffs have filed petition for cert according to lgbtqnation. If anyone has a link to the actual filing…

  • 6. Raga  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:54 am

    If you're referring to this story, it says that "the couple’s plea to be allowed to marry was being filed Monday," which doesn't mean that it has been filed…
    But in the very next sentence it says "the appeal filed by" which should probably be "the appeal being filed by"?

  • 7. brooklyn11217  |  November 17, 2014 at 9:44 am


    Thanks to @EQCF on Twitter as always!

  • 8. Raga  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Deliberations have begun in the Kansas Supreme Court:

  • 9. Jen_in_MI  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Ah! I love being unmarried. Thanks for that, Schuette. /sarcasm

  • 10. ragefirewolf  |  November 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm


    More like, FU Schuette!


  • 11. DACiowan  |  November 17, 2014 at 9:43 am

    The petition for cert in DeBoer is in:

  • 12. Raga  |  November 17, 2014 at 9:50 am

    "Respondents have advised counsel that they will file a response in this Court indicating that they do not oppose a grant of certiorari."

    I hope they do so ASAP!

  • 13. ragefirewolf  |  November 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Gods, I wish they would stop using Scribd…

  • 14. guitaristbl  |  November 17, 2014 at 9:43 am

    An extremely interesting analysis of Sutton's opinion that literally humiliates him and his judicial approach IMO :

    Got to love the ending : "If Sutton is right, Loving is wrong".

    Can they please it file it as amicus once the court takes the case ?

  • 15. hopalongcassidy  |  November 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

    "… it could also have been said that before Loving, the definition of marriage was limited to a man and woman of the same race, and Loving changed that definition."

    Of course. It was 'defined' that way both de facto and de jure. Nobody with a functioning brain could deny it. So much for all the hysteria over "changing the definition"…

  • 16. davepCA  |  November 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Yup. The definition of marriage has changed many times, including some very significant changes that have occurred just in recent decades. Such as the changes that ended the way women lost nearly all of their legal rights as autonomous citizens when they legally married. And unlike the Loving decision or any of the decisions to allow same sex couples to marry, THAT decision actually changed the definition of what marriage IS and what it DOES, not just the list of who is eligible to participate. And yet it is still marriage.

  • 17. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

    One reason the Constitution is written in broad language is the writers of it realized that times and circumstances would change, and that if they tried to be particular, anyone could challenge the Constitution, or portions of the Constitution, exactly because times and circumstances would change.

    No one saw tanks (British invention in WW I), or guns that were not muzzle loaded (generally post-US Civil War), or atom bombs (WW II), or railroads (1st US RR to carry passengers was the B&O in the late 1820s), etc. when the Constitution was being written, yet almost no one seriously questions the right of the government to control and/or regulate such things under the Constitution, because the Constitution was written in broad terms, so as to cover the situation that time and different circumstances might cause.

    Another reason was that the writers didn't want a multi-tens of thousands of word document to cover every situation, realizing that if they tried to list everything, they would forget some things, plus the problem of time and changing circumstances would quickly make the Constitution obsolete (for instance, until the late 1700s, most slaves were used for the growing of tobacco. By the end of that century, slavery was on its way out of existence in the US. It was the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 [patented in 1794, and put into general use in the early 1800s] that started to breath life back into slavery and make it much more important to cotton growing states than it had been for tobacco growing. One indication of how much the cotton gin changed society – in 1830, a total of about 750,000 bales of cotton were produced in the US, by 1850 the total had climbed to about 2.85 million bales. In 1790, there were about 700,000 slaves in six 'slave' states in the US, by 1850 there were about 3.2 million slaves in 15 'slave' states. By 1860, reliable estimates are that 1/3 of the population in the South were slaves.) The cotton gin was invented and patented after the adoption of the US Constitution, even if by only a few years and is a great illustration of how the 'feelings' of the writers of the Constitution about times and circumstances changing could cause the Constitution to quickly become obsolete if not written in broad language.

  • 18. josejoram  |  November 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Not only because marriage is a Human right, it's also because Law, in the broadest sense, has been created to adapt itself to legitimate social realities.

  • 19. josejoram  |  November 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

    And originalist interpretations denie evolution of social realities.

  • 20. haydenarwen  |  November 18, 2014 at 3:20 am

    all along MI officials say they want the matter to SCOTUS and the sooner the better…….Really, see no reason why MI will delay as they want this resolved too…. seems like they know that delaying it beyond a month or so would just keep all the manusha churning and spinning for the next year…..

  • 21. hopalongcassidy  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:51 am

    manusha? Is that Yiddish for homophobe?


  • 22. Equality On TrialREAD IT &hellip  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:00 am

    […] The opening brief, filed by the state last month, can be read here. […]

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