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Kansas Supreme Court lifts stay on marriages in Johnson County, puts case on hold pending outcome of federal case

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ksThe Kansas Supreme Court has issued an order allowing marriages to move forward in Johnson County. A state judge had begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and state officials asked the state supreme court to stop him. The state supreme court stopped the judge from issuing licenses temporarily until it decided this case.

Their order wipes out the temporary stay and allows same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses in that county.

The court also decided to put the state case on hold pending the outcome in the federal case, which is on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court has declined to issue a stay in the federal case.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. hopalongcassidy  |  November 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Kansas: Still crazy after all these years.

  • 2. brandall  |  November 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Dorothy Gale's message now fully applies in Kansas, "if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."

    One of my all-time favorite lines to live by.

  • 3. andrewofca  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    was really Dorothy's last name???

  • 4. brandall  |  November 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Yes it was. For an additional 100 points in the bonus round and an all expenses paid trip to Bermuda for two, Do you know the last name of Elvira, the schoolteacher seen in the beginning of the movie?

  • 5. andrewofca  |  November 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    My bf says Gulch. Do we win? :)Sent from my iPhone

  • 6. brandall  |  November 18, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    correct! Only mentioned once in the movie

  • 7. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Yes. Congratulations.

  • 8. andrewofca  |  November 18, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    On a side note, I asked the bf if he knew what Dorothy's last name was (before mentioning this blog post, or Kansas, etc.) without missing a beat, he says 'szbornak'. lolSent from my iPhone

  • 9. brandall  |  November 18, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Are you sure your boyfriend is gay?

  • 10. Retired_Lawyer  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Hey, he was familiar with Golden Girls, no?

  • 11. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    "The court also decided to put the state case on hold pending the outcome in the federal case, which is on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals."

    What case ? Am I missing something here ? They had a case brought by the AG against the judge in Johnson county about the issuance of license, end of story, their role in that has ended I think. I hope every county now stops finding excuses and starts issuing marriage licenses immediately. SCOTUS has spoken, the state SC has spoken. Their AG may claim whatever he wants about the application of the ruling, they have to follow the law and issue licenses immediately.

  • 12. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    The mandamus proceedings in the Kansas Supreme Court that the State brought upon Judge Moriarty (that he exceeded his authority in issuing the administrative order) are being put on hold. Nothing to worry.

  • 13. Scottie Thomaston  |  November 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    There's a state supreme court case and a federal case. Marie v. Moser is the federal one.

  • 14. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Yes but the state supreme court case does not deal with the issue of marriage itself, it only has to do with the actions of the judge in Johnson county. The federal case has been decided by the federal district court and it's on its way to fruitless appeals. The only other case in state court (Nelson v. Kan. Dep't of Revenue) still has a long way to go before it reaches the KS Supreme Court.

  • 15. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    In its original order that granted the temporary stay of Judge Moriarty's order, the Justices of the Kansas Supreme Court asked the parties to be prepared to talk about the constitutionality of Kansas's marriage ban as well. Of course, this was before Marie was decided. So it was unclear whether the mandamus proceeding would require the Kansas Supreme Court to reach the constitutionality of the marriage ban. Only today, in its new order, has the Court expressly stated that it will not reach the issue and will wait for the federal courts to finalize Marie.

  • 16. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    And if we assume that Marie will be finalized after SCOTUS rules on ME, it will give the Kansas Supreme Court little space to move, whatever way SCOTUS rules.

  • 17. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    And that reminds me, where do things stand with Nelson? I remember there was a hearing scheduled for November 14. Did that happen or was it canceled in light of Marie?

  • 18. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I have no idea tbh. I suppose proceedings should be stayed at this point (if they haven't been already) to the very least, pending resolution of the federal case.

  • 19. debater7474  |  November 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I don't understand why marriage equality doesn't apply statewide. Can't we file for contempt of court?

  • 20. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    It does, now, as the Kansas Supreme Court has clarified (while refusing to clarify). See my comment below 🙂

  • 21. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Awesome! Their order neatly clears up the uncertainty:

    [T]he federal district court's decision in Marie did not merely conclude that the Kansas same-sex marriage ban violated the Fourteenth Amendment as applied in the Seventh and Eighteenth Judicial Districts where the defendant court clerks were located. In other words, the federal court's decision was not based on some peculiar quirk in those specific judicial districts' operations. Instead, the federal court's analysis was aimed directly at the epicenter of the Kansas same-sex marriage ban: Article 15, §16 of the Kansas Constitution and K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 23-2501. […] [W]hile arguably only two judicial districts are directly affected by the injunction, the federal district court's rationale underlying its order is not as localized as the State argues."

    After reading their lengthy and clear reasoning (entirety of Page 6) that Marie applies statewide, the following meaningless disclaimer made me laugh out loud:

    "But we need not make an express determination about the breadth of the federal injunction for the purposes of deciding the limited issue before this court."

    Then why did they spend a whole page determining just that?

  • 22. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Because they could?

  • 23. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    More seriously, I suspect that they embarked on the discussion in order to make it difficult for lower Kansas state courts to adopt the argument that the injunction of the federal district court is not state-wide, an argument which the Attorney General was likely to keep making. Their discussion will make it hard for a lower Kansas court to adopt the argument their Supreme Court clearly finds bad.

    Because the Kansas Supreme Court is suspending the whole proceeding until the federal case reaches finality, for reasons of comity, it would be inconsistent for them to expressly reach a conclusion as to a specific aspect of the case while holding that they should abstain from deciding anything so as not to step on the federal court's toes in any way. (For example, the federal district court judge might make some express finding about the reach of his injunction, and the Kansas Supreme Court wouldn't want to confuse that issue if he does.)

  • 24. StraightDave  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    It was a page full of dicta, hoping everyone would treat it as the real thing. They knew it wasn't their place to make a definitive pronouncement on the scope of a federal court ruling, but what they tried to do was say, "if we were going to make such a pronouncement, this is what it would look like". It's supposed to be a giant hint to the AG to "man up".

  • 25. SeattleRobin  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I think technically the federal court injunction does only apply to the two districts in which there were named defendants. But as the KC SC points out, the federal court struck down the laws themselves, not just how they were specifically applied in those two districts.

    Where the trouble is coming from is that while the injunction might only apply to the two districts technically, in normal circumstances the state throws in the towel at that point and allows a ruling to apply to the entire state. Because there is no difference in application of the law from district to district.

    That's because it's ridiculous to continue to fight individual court cases for each jurisdiction until the entire state is covered when the outcomes of those cases are predetermined by existing law. It wastes tax dollars, government attorney time, and court time.

    So while the AG may be technically correct, the way he's handling it is way outside normal procedure, and is not doing anyone any favors, including himself and his office.

  • 26. RobW303  |  November 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    As I read it, the limited issue was whether the district judge exceeded his power. The justices also intended to consider the constitutionality of the bans, and they needed to determine whether to lift the stay they had imposed (or the scope of that stay). They didn't need to define how widely the federal decision applied for the narrow issue, but in order to decide whether to take action against the judge at this time, they had to look into the basis of the ruling against the clerks in other districts. Because the ruling wasn't based on things particular to the counties but rather on the constitutionality of the underlying state ban, and since the judge had before him a case of a couple seeking to marry, it was necessary and proper for him to make a determination on the constitutionality of the law as it applied within his district. (Whether he made a proper determination is a separate issue, which won't be decided until the federal case is resolved.) Since the other clerks were not a party to this action, the Supreme Court did not have call to determine (explicitly) whether the federal injunction applies to them, as it did not yet determine whether the injunction applied to the judge or the clerks in his district, either. The stay was lifted in the interest of conformity (a purpose deemed important by the plaintiffs in bringing the action against the judge) and comity, since at least two counties were clearly enabled to issue licenses due to federal action, and any couples in Kansas could marry by obtaining a license there, as well as in other counties that had decided the federal injunction did apply statewide. So that conformity argument boomeranged on the AG. Let's hope he got the message of the conformity expected.

  • 27. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    It's all over in South Carilinia. The AG will file an appeal to SCOTUS simply to appease the conservative voter base and SCOTUS will deny the appeal. At most they'll get a temporary one or two day stay, while the request is referred to the full court to avoid Justice fishing. I think this makes 35 states now! No? Congrats SC couples! Now we have less states with unconstitutional SSM bans than the Loving case had anti mescgenation bans in '67. It's the beginning of the end for the remaining bans. Kennedy and Ginsburg will want to decide this issue, and not kick it down the road again, where a republican could be in office from 2017 – 2025 and appoint conservative replacements. Though let's hope the whitehouse isn't lost to regressive anti gay conservatives.

  • 28. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I expect the SC AG will not give up anytime soon. What they are doing right now is preparing an emergency request to the US Supreme Court for a stay pending appeal. If the past is any guide to the future, this will be denied (although perhaps with a temporary stay while the full Court considers it). But following that, the state still has the right to appeal to the 4th Circuit, which will take time and effort (and therefore money) on the part of the lawyers for the plaintiffs to defend, even though the outcome could hardly be more clear. Then, when the 4th Circuit fails to overturn the district court, the state will file a petition for cert., again taking time and effort on the part of the lawyers for the plaintiffs to defend. The only conceivable thing which could conceivably short circuit this process is a clear decision by the US Supreme Court holding for marriage equality. And even with utterly clear precedent, the SC AG has shown a willingness to advance pre-Civil War concepts in an attempt to fight against this tide.

  • 29. RnL2008  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I don't believe South Carolina can appeal to SCOTUS, get rejected and then appeal to the 4th again……..once the appeal is denied at SCOTUS, that pretty much means ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!!!

  • 30. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    They're not appealing the ruling to SCOTUS, not at all. They're asking SCOTUS to stay the effect of the ruling pending appellate review. This is exactly what Utah did last year, and SCOTUS granted the stay. Just like in the Utah case, a stay granted by SCOTUS wouldn't constitute a ruling on the merits. In the Utah case, after SCOTUS granted a stay, the state appealed to the 9th Circuit and lost their appeal there. Then the state submitted a petition for cert. to SCOTUS, which was denied. At that point, and only at that point, the state of Utah ran out of further options for appeal.

    In this case, SC is asking SCOTUS for a stay pending appeal. If SCOTUS granted the stay, the state would still have to appeal to the 4th Circuit. If SCOTUS denies the appeal (by far the most likely outcome), that would not be a ruling from SCOTUS on the merits, and the state of SC could still prosecute an appeal in the 4th Circuit. When the 4th Circuit denies their appeal, they would have the right to file a petition for cert. at SCOTUS. Only if that petition were denied would SC have run out of options for further court proceedings.

    What *will* happen if SCOTUS denies the application for a stay is that the injunction issued by the district court would be in full effect (following the later of noon on Thursday and the dissolution of any temporary stay) and marriage could commence in SC. The SC AG will continue to prosecute his appeal, even though he has a snowball's chance in hell of winning. But his appeal will not affect the requirement that marriage equality be observed in SC.

  • 31. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Yes. You can't loose in a superior court and then try again in an inferior court… at least not in the U.S.

  • 32. worldcup26  |  November 18, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    They are only appealing the stay to SCOTUS. They certainly can and will appeal the case on the merits to the 4th Circuit.

  • 33. MichaelGrabow  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    SC would be 34+DC, no?

  • 34. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Maybe you're right. 35 May need Montana. And that ban will fall like all the rest… soon. Where are we at in Montana?

  • 35. RQO  |  November 18, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    And then there is the curious case of Missouri. Love their AG appealing ME rulings but NOT asking for stays. Someone remind me – what needs to happen there for us to count MO as an ME state?

  • 36. wes228  |  November 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    A ruling that applies to the entire state and isn't stayed. Right now it's only legal in the city of St. Louis.

  • 37. MichaelGrabow  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I believe it is St Louis city and county.

  • 38. RobW303  |  November 18, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    The US district judge in Montana cancelled the hearing scheduled for the 20th. The general haruspicy is that he doesn't consider oral arguments necessary (there are no disagreements about the facts in the case) and will make a ruling soon based on the briefs already submitted.

  • 39. montezuma58  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    You've reached the Point of No Return.
    Your marriage bans are Dust In the Wind.
    It is time to Carry On my Wayward Son.

  • 40. Rick55845  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Well done! All songs by Kansas! Quite appropriate.

  • 41. ebohlman  |  November 18, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Although the AG and Gov are still hoping for a Miracle Out of Nowhere.

  • 42. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Well, they should already know what response they are going to get and frankly to pan handle to some conservative base just to please them is NOT a good or valid reason to waste taxpayer dollars to defend an UNCONSTITUTIONAL act!!!

  • 43. brandall  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    And now the usual, standard rush to SCOTUS by the AG:

    "This issue has not yet been resolved nationally. It is still likely the U.S. Supreme Court will address conflicting rulings between federal circuit courts of appeal. Therefore, today's ruling by the Fourth Circuit does not end the constitutional obligation of this Office to defend South Carolina law. We continue to believe the doctrine of federalism and the Tenth Amendment should allow South Carolina's unique laws to be considered at the highest appropriate court of appeal. We will be seeking an application to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay shortly."

    SC's UNIQUE laws? Oh yeah, their ban is SO different from the other 30 state bans. Go figure.

  • 44. Steve84  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    They still haven't gotten over losing the civil war over this very issue.

  • 45. Zack12  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Even he knows his briefs are garbage at this point but they won't give up.

  • 46. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    What's so unique about South Carolina's marriage laws ? No, seriously now : Is there any essential difference between the ban in South Carolina and every other state denied a stay so far from SCOTUS ?

  • 47. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm


  • 48. RnL2008  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I seriously DOUBT that SCOTUS is going to do ANYTHING regarding Kansas or South Carolina regardless of the ruling from the 6th……which in my opinion will be handled and ruled in our favor by probably June of 2015!!

  • 49. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    So the SC AG recognizes the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. I guess that means he also recognizes Article VI of the same Constitution. And Article VI of the US Constitution was written and ratified before the 10th Amendment.

    By the way – Article VI still reads exactly the same as when it was ratified. Not a word of it has been amended or changed.

  • 50. RobW303  |  November 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    "They're unique because this is South Carolina, not Idaho or Kansas and … um, well, you know … gays."

    Maybe it's because South Carolina heterosexuals procreate particularly irresponsibly.

  • 51. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I've often heard that, in discussions about the characteristics of the various states. You know: Kansas City bbq, South Carolina irresponsible procreating, NYC lox and bagels.

  • 52. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    South Carolina should change its state motto:

    The Irresponsible Procreation State!

    Wouldn't that stand out on the license plates!

  • 53. davepCA  |  November 19, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I don't think "The Irresponsible Procreation State" would fit on the license plate. They would have to find a short phrase that means the same thing. Like:

    "South Carolina – Aw, screw it!"

  • 54. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 12:33 am

    I could understand if South Carolina was the first to request a stay by SCOTUS while waiting for an appeal, but that boat has left the dock and SC is NOT doing a very good job trying to bail water out of their sinking boat…..and SCOTUS has made their statement by denying cert on 10/6/2014……the ruling by the 6th has NO real bearing on South Carolina or the ruling from the 4th…..and though it is likely that SCOTUS will more than likely grant cert to those states in the 6th's territory……it DOESN'T mean that SCOTUS will uphold that ruling nor is there ANYTHING unique in South Carolina's marital requirements that would cause SCOTUS to say, "DAMN, we screwed up by NOT granting cert before, but we should grant it now and UPHOLD all of those pesky bans because South Carolina has something UNIQUE in their marital requirements"! Just NOT happening Mr Bigoted AG!!!

  • 55. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Can anyone explain to me what a mandamus is exactly and what's the state's mandamus action that should be held in abeyance from KS SC pending resolution of Marie ?

    On another note the KS SC says that it can't render advisory opinions and declines to offer guidance to judicial districts on the matter. It also says the issue of uniformity is left to federal district court and maybe SCOTUS. But a few pages above it clearly states that the decision of the federal court can hardly be read as applying only to two judicial districts.

    So can couples use this order to request licenses from counties that refuse to give them away ? Or can these counties continue denying licenses based on what the order said in its last pages about uniformity etc ?

  • 56. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    A writ of mandamus is a command from a higher court to a lower court to take or refrain from taking some action. In this case, the Kansas AG asked the Kansas Supreme Court to order a local judge to refrain from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The Kansas Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction prohibiting that judge from doing so, and they just dissolved it, and told the AG that they wouldn't do anything else until the issue was resolved in the federal courts. The consequence is that the local judge is free to follow the federal injunction.

  • 57. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Thank you

  • 58. RnL2008  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    But ISN'T the Federal case basically already decided?

  • 59. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Not really, Rose. The federal district court, in Marie, issued a preliminary injunction. It is not the same as a final ruling on the merits (e.g., summary judgment). In addition, the preliminary injunction itself is currently under appeal at the Tenth Circuit. (Obviously, the Tenth is not going to seriously entertain this appeal, and the Supreme Court rarely entertains appeals of preliminary injunctions.)

  • 60. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    The federal district court has issued its ruling. The state has a right to appeal the decision to the 10th Circuit, so there is always the theoretical possibility that the 10th Circuit will reverse the district court ruling. If the 10th Circuit upholds it, the state can petition the US Supreme Court to hear the case, and the Supreme Court has discretion as to whether or not to hear the case. Only after all of these steps have been taken (or the losing party determines not to prosecute the appeal) is the federal district court's ruling "final" (that is, not subject to reversal on appeal). The Kansas Supreme Court said that it would suspend the proceedings before it until there's a final federal decision. So the Kansas Supreme Court proceeding won't immediately go away, although once the federal decision becomes final it almost certainly will. Even though everyone more or less knows exactly how this is going to play out, it's not over until it actually *does* play out.

  • 61. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I'd forgotten that the district court issued a preliminary injunction, with the effect Raga noted. In this case, of course, there's no conceivable reason why the court will decide differently when it comes to the question of a permanent injunction.

  • 62. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Correct. Indeed, in the Colorado case, the district court simply entered an order "converting" the preliminary injunction into a permanent injunction and closed the case as soon as the Supreme Court denied cert and the Tenth Circuit issued its mandates in Kitchen and Bishop.

  • 63. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Wow, that was quick! Here's South Carolina's "emergency" application:

    I wonder if they simply copied and pasted their arguments from their application to the Fourth Circuit? Or they had this almost written up and ready, anticipating that the Fourth would likely reject their request?

  • 64. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Well they should have had it pretty much prepared before the denial from the 4th which was to be expected.
    Given tha nature of the motion I expect the usual procedure : Temporary stay by Roberts at first. He will then refer it to the full court and the most possible outcome is denial of stay.
    Of course the fact that the plaintiffs from the 6th filed for writ of certiorari between the Kansas motion to stay and this one may implicate things. We'll see.

  • 65. StraightDave  |  November 18, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Their reasoning amounts to:
    1) Bostic was wrongly decided because of Baker
    2. And anyway, the Sixth Circuit was correct

    So there!

  • 66. RobW303  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Their reasoning is "Gotta keep the case alive on the slim hope that SCOTUS sides with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals." So they have to argue any commonalities with the Sixth's reasoning.

  • 67. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Ummm, when was Baker vs Nelson EVER actually argued in front of SCOTUS? Baker vs Nelson was mandated to be appealed to SCOTUS and they basically dismissed it because there was NO need to do anything else at that time, HOWEVER things have changed over the last 42 years and for this twit to try and make Baker be something more than it was, just shows how stupid this guy is!!!

    I mean since June of 2013, I believe SCOTUS has made it quite clear that Baker is a moot point…..yet idiots like this AG and others keep trying to make sure that Baker keeps chugging a long….when in fact it's a moot point!

    The AG is right on one thing…….SCOTUS is likely to grant cert this time around, but that is the only thing he is right about at this time in his brief. The AG is NOT going to win and SCOTUS is going to reverse the ruling from the 6th and I think that's what Sutton wanted in the first place!!!

  • 68. SteveThomas1  |  November 19, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Actually, the SC AG is arguing that SCOTUS is likely to grant cert. in the SC case, which I think is not true. Like most of the world, I do think SCOTUS will grant cert. in one or more of the 6th Circuit cases, in order to reverse. But I would predict that they will not intervene in the SC cases. (Of course, no one can predict what SCOTUS will do with any certainty.)

  • 69. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Their filing is 11 pages about the lack of resolution of the "domestic relations exception" with a tipping of the hat to Baker. While the domestic relations exception has appeared in some other states' ME cases, no state has based their entire argument on this aspect of Federal jurisprudence. It would not withstand Loving, et al when it comes to marriage rights.

    WOP…Waste Of Paper…or in this day and age….Waste Of PDF

    Following the now common standard….SCOTUS will request the Plaintiffs to file Thursday and SCOTUS will deny Friday.

  • 70. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    About. Damn. Time.

    Also, WOOHOO!!!!

  • 71. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Congratulations – you've transformed again! Or should I say transformed back? Not much different from "ragefirewolf", but clearer in meaning. I was wondering all along whether it meant "rage of firing wolves", "fire of raging wolves", "wolf of raging fires", or "wolf of firing rage" 🙂

  • 72. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    For those interested or confused, I have changed my name twice now:

    ragefirewolf > Angry Flame Fox > Wolf of Raging Fires

    Too bad Brandall missed the second iteration…I think he would've appreciated it.

  • 73. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Give us a sneak peek of your next transformation… Go on…

  • 74. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Actually, I may stick with this one for a little bit. I need to credit Rem C of Chicago for it. He put the idea in my head. 🙂

  • 75. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:35 am

    How about just WRalF for short?

  • 76. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:43 am


  • 77. RobW303  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:04 am

    On his calmer days, he's PeevedVulpineFlare.

  • 78. brandall  |  November 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    COPYRIGHT Violation! As your fairy godfather, I invented AngryFlameFox to watch over you several months ago. I am appalled you would try to undergo a wolf to fox species change (transspecies) operation and change your name. Move to Florida and just try to change your license at DMV. Or move to Colorado and just try to order a transspecies celebration cake. Or God forbid, you meet the kit of your life, want to get married and you are in Idaho. Avoid the chapel in Boise!

    Signed, #PissedOffInfernoFurCoat

  • 79. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm


    I think I'll make my next one UpsetHotDog, lol.

  • 80. brandall  |  November 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    And if I was not married, I could be your bun. Sorry, just couldn't resist. You set me up for that one. I think I need to go read a brief Or a decision from today.

  • 81. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:43 am

    LOL! You're not sorry. Haha.

  • 82. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Off topic, but I was amazed to learn that the petition for writ of certiorari that the Arkansas prisoner who protested against beard length regulations filed with SCOTUS was handwritten. For those interested, here it is:

  • 83. SteveThomas1  |  November 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    It's been a while since I've looked at it, but I think I recall that the cert. petition in the famous Miranda case was also pro se and hand written. (Of course, I could be wrong about that.)

  • 84. andrewofca  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:46 am

    a handwritten cert petition! thanks for sharing!

    My guess is they will deny cert though. the issue feels too socially contentious, and ultimately not big enough to grant cert. If they DO grant cert, they'll probably have at least 5 votes in the prisoner's favor.

  • 85. Raga  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Oh, no – they granted cert and this was argued last month. Court watchers are unanimous in predicting (up to) a 9-0 victory to the prisoner. You should check out some of the humorous exchanges between the Justices and the Arkansas lawyer about hiding machete or hand gun (or some sort of weapon – I forget) in beards going unnoticed and not falling off, and why not ask prisoners to simply comb their beards instead to show that they aren't concealing anything in them.

  • 86. Raga  |  November 18, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Could be considered off-topic, but I don't think it is really, so here goes. This is a lengthy, but fascinating article on the "science of why we don't believe science" and in the process of reading it, I could relate to the stories / case studies in multiple ways – several situations where people with strongly held beliefs are blind to verifiable facts and data, e.g., why my mother still refuses to believe that I'm gay. If you have the time, read the whole thing. If you don't, just scroll through and read the called-out points in big font:

  • 87. LK2013  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Very interesting. So sorry about your mother … !

    I think this part in particular applies to Judge Sutton:

    “People who have a dislike of some policy—for example, abortion—if they’re unsophisticated they can just reject it out of hand,” says Lodge. “But if they’re sophisticated, they can go one step further and start coming up with counterarguments.” These individuals are just as emotionally driven and biased as the rest of us, but they’re able to generate more and better reasons to explain why they’re right—and so their minds become harder to change."

  • 88. Retired_Lawyer  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:09 am

    This is off-topic, too, but now that Charles Manson, in prison for life, can be legally married, unlike the admirable pair of nurses with adopted children in Detroit (DeBoer v. Snyder), Alexandra Petri in this morning's Washington Post, notes: "Anyway, this is a huge victory for the sanctity-of-marriage crowd. Good job keeping gay marriage illegal, states with bans. Marriage should be between a Manson and a woman, like God intended."

  • 89. Jaesun100  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:43 am

    South Carolina Judge issues liscense :)))) I wonder if it is TKs?

  • 90. StraightDave  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I guess he just decided that today was "close enough".

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