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READ IT HERE: Ohio same-sex couples challenge marriage recognition ban in Supreme Court

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The first brief has been filed in the four marriage cases that will be taken up by the Supreme Court in late April. The Ohio couples are challenging the state’s ban on recognizing their legal marriages in the Obergefell case. The brief is here. Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Ohio are listed as counsel on the briefs.

EqualityOnTrial will have more on this and the three other briefs due today.

Read the brief here:

14-556 Ohio Plaintiffs' SCOTUS Brief by Equality Case Files

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. DeadHead  |  February 27, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Does anyone know when SCOTUS might set the argument date?

  • 2. Decided_Voter  |  February 27, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Probably in March.

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  February 27, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Probably late March/early April the latest. They set the argument dates for the late March/early April arguments a few days ago.

  • 4. VIRick  |  February 27, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    The first sentence in Scottie's introductory comments state:

    "The first brief has been filed in the four marriage cases that will be taken up by the Supreme Court in late April."

  • 5. Rick55845  |  February 27, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I think he is asking when SCOTUS will set the specific date in April when they will hear oral arguments. So far, all we know is that it will be in April, but not exactly when.

  • 6. sfbob  |  February 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Only now do I have the time to read the briefs of the various plaintiffs (starting with this one since of course it was first to be posted). This one's very strong. I appreciate the level of detail the arguments go into in demolishing Sutton's opinion. I suppose it would be giving Sutton far too much credit to suggest Sutton actually WANTED his decision to be overturned upon appeal.

  • 7. Rick55845  |  February 27, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    I just read it too. I agree, it was very strong and very thorough, touching upon every cavalier and poorly reasoned holding of the 6th circuit majority. And it went well beyond that, too, discussing positions that have been advanced by various states that weren't specifically addressed by the 6th.

    I think this brief neatly ties the rationale for regarding sexual orientation a quasi-suspect classification subject to intermediate scrutiny to Kennedy's developing and imprecisely articulated animus standard. Maybe that'll help him develop it further, or provide him with justification for considering animus in addition to other factors when deciding the level of scrutiny applicable, or demonstrate to him and to others on the court that sexual orientation classification demands at least intermediate scrutiny regardless.

  • 8. 1grod  |  February 28, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Rick – thoughtful comments.
    Regarding your reference to animus, I hope Justice Kennedy and others keeps Kansas in mind when the following is read: "the expectation that one‘s marriage will be universally recognized [ particularly by one's own state] is so deeply rooted in our nation‘s history as to be ―implicit in the concept of ordered liberty p 51. The five counties of Kansas 30th judicial district – Pratt, Barber, Kingman, Harper, and Sumner, constituting 2% of the state's population – have yet to receive same-sex marriage applications, and have not stated whether they would issue licenses if they did. Otherwise 61/105 counties are issuing licenses. While I can not find the number of same-gender marriages celebrated since November 18, only the department KDHE that processes Vital Statistics, recognizes them. IMO, it is animus that three months later, there is no declared State Executive action to do so. "Being married would mean little if the government were free to refuse all recognition to a couple‘s marriage once the vows are made and the license is signed." p 48. Hopefully at oral argument or in one of these Opening or Reply briefs footnote is made of this profound and cruel injustice by Governor Sam Brownback. Same lack of recognition for out-of-state valid marriages. What a disrespectful and disregarding message to the citizen's of that state!.

  • 9. VIRick  |  February 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    "…. it would be giving Sutton far too much credit to suggest Sutton actually WANTED his decision to be overturned upon appeal."

    Indeed, it would be giving him way too much credit. Sutton actually believes he's "correct," and that everyone else is incorrect. He truly deserves no credit at all for his hack-job performance, given that he's putting everyone through this whole unnecessary grand finale exercise, just to satisfy his own asshatted-ness.

    Still, his place in history is secure,– as the last federal judge to rule in favor of retaining the discriminatory marriage bans

  • 10. JayJonson  |  February 28, 2015 at 6:53 am

    It is certainly giving Sutton too much credit to think he actually wants his decision to be overturned on appeal. I think he doesn't care very much whether it is overturned. His purpose in writing his decision was to gain the attention of the Republican president he expects to be elected in 2016. He is counting upon this opinion to elevate him to the top of the list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • 11. 1grod  |  February 28, 2015 at 6:14 am

    "When a couple knits their lives together through marriage, making promises of enduring support and care, they vow to be wed until death -not state lines – do us part."
    Like you Bob, I appreciated the frontal attack on the majority of Six Circuit panel's flawed thinking:
    * denied Windsor‘s [subject to constitutional guarantees] obvious relevance to this case.…..
    * historical analysis is wrong…..
    *inverts the proper heightened scrutiny analysis…..
    *held that ―standing by the traditional definition of marriage justifies the recognition bans. But this is a tautology masquerading as a government interest.
    *suggest hat only families headed by couples who can accidentally procreate “need to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring” makes no sense.
    *while conceding the grave harms inflicted by the marriage bans on same-sex couples and their children, ruled that the decision whether to end these harms should remain in the hands of state voters… A preference for majoritarian lawmaking, however, cannot override the constitutional rights of a minority.

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