Issue of Same Sex Marriage Headed to D.C….We Hope.
As most of you have heard by now, the trial court’s ruling in our marriage equality case, DeBoer v Snyder, was overturned by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The original opinion of the trial court, written by Judge Bernard Friedman, held that Michigan’s ban on same sex marriage was violative of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Predictably, Attorney General Bill Schuette, appealed the decision to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Oral argument was heard on August 6, 2014, in our case and several other cases from different states. All of the cases from the various states surrounded the issue of same sex marriage. The court, which was comprised of 3 different judges, listened to argument from all sides on all cases. After waiting almost 3 months, the 3 judge panel issued it’s opinion…which was the ruling of Judge Friedman would be overturned. In his opinion, Judge Jeffery Sutton, a Bush II appointee, wrote (in part) that it was not the place of the court to override the will of the electorate. In a blistering dissent (which of course we enjoyed), Judge Martha Daughtrey, a Clinton appointee, wrote that because the right decision was “so obvious” she thought perhaps the majority reached its opinion solely to create a split among the circuit courts that had tackled the question. For those of you who missed it, Judge Daughtrey was the judge who threw her pen down in disgust as one attorney tried to explain why same sex marriages would discourage other married couples from having children.
Because of the decision of the 6th Circuit, Dana Nessel and the other attorneys have filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. The question presented is simple: whether a state violates the 14th Amendment by denying same-sex couples the right to marry. Our best guess is that the Supreme Court will inform the parties whether or not it will take the case in early January 2015.
Here are several links to the story from a variety of news outlets.