Get Ready for More Marriage Equality Courtroom Drama

gay-wedding-west-pointThere’s another major oral argument coming up in a few days, and we can’t wait. As you’ll recall, the last one of these went spectacularly well: all three judges were aggressive and exasperated at Indiana and Wisconsin’s antigay lawyers, asking them such tough questions that are one point the Assistant Attorney General of Wisconsin tried to find an excuse to leave.

Next week’s argument covers cases in three states: Nevada, Idaho and Hawaii. We’ve been waiting a loooooong time for the Ninth Circuit to finally address these cases, and with time running out before the Supreme Court’s next session, rulings in those cases can’t come soon enough.

Of course, it’s possible that the Ninth Circuit judges will be the opposite of the 7th Circuit. They could be really nice to the anti-gay lawyers and mean to our side. But that’s not too likely, since the 9th Circuit has a reputation as a bunch of pot-smoking free love hippies. (Well, not quite that liberal, but close.)

But while gay couples jostle to get their cases to the Supreme Court, some anti-gay lawyers are doing everything in their power to put things on hold so they don’t have to go before the highest court in the land with their terrible arguments. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi just tried to put all of that state’s litigation on hold. But she failed, and now she’ll have to move ahead, presumably facing the same harsh exasperated questions that the Wisconsin and Indiana lawyers endured last week.

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  • hyhybt

    Why is there a case from Hawaii, where it’s already legal, at all?

  • Dakotahgeo

    I just enjoy the squirming and tap-dancing from the irreligious conservative rightists while they are aware, in their own minds, that their arguments are going… pppfffffttt!

  • mauikamaaina

    @hyhybt: Yes, same sex marriage has been legal since December 2, 2013.
    This federal lawsuit was initiated in 2011, before Hawaii legalized same-sex marriage, and is ongoing in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs seek to have a lower court ruling that upheld the state’s ban on same-sex marriage overturned

    • hyhybt

      @mauikamaaina: Why, though? From any side, plaintiff, defendant, or court, why would they continue with a case over a moot issue?

  • mauikamaaina

    @hyhybt: There is in place a 1994 ban on same sex marriage. (The legal history of this issue goes all the way back to 1991.) The legalization of same-sex marriage does not automatically negate this 1994 ban.
    This point was clearly made when a legal challenge to the 2013 marriage equality bill was filed by a member of the Legislature who contended that the 1994 ban as well as a 1998 constitutional amendment reserving marriage only for opposite-sex couples prohibited the Legislature from allowing same-sex marriage. The court granted the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on January 29, 2014.
    Thus, legally, same-sex marriage is not a moot issue as long as prior legislation that prohibits it exists.

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