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Friday, February 14, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - More on: Nevada Attorney General stops defending the state's marriage amendment; where does that leave our Attorney General Zoeller in Nevada?

Also from the upcoming issue of Indiana Legislative Insight ($$$):

The Indiana Law Blog broke the news that the State of Indiana late last month was the lead state on an amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Sevcik v. Sandoval, No. 12-17668, a case involving a challenge to a Nevada prohibition against same-sex marriage.

The State of Indiana is joined on the brief by the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah.

The brief, authored by Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher, concludes:

“Marriage is not a device that governments generally use to acknowledge acceptable sexuality, living arrangements, or de facto parenting structures. It is a means to encourage and preserve something far more compelling and precise: the relationship between a man and a woman in their natural capacity to have children. It attracts and then regulates couples whose sexual conduct may potentially create children, which ameliorates the burdens society ultimately bears when unintended children are not properly cared for.

Neither same-sex couples nor any other social grouping presents the same need for government involvement, so there is no similar rationale for recognizing such relationships.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Ninth Circuit. In this case, the individual plaintiffs lost in U.S. District Court and appealed. But Nevada’s attorney general explained that “the same day that a brief was filed on behalf of the State in Nevada’s same-sex marriage case,” the Ninth Circuit issued a new ruling [SmithKline Beecham] that “appears to impact the equal protection and due process arguments made on behalf of the State. After careful review of [this] decision these arguments are likely no longer tenable in the Ninth Circuit,” she concludes, and on Monday she filed a motion to withdraw the State of Nevada’s brief supporting the same-sex marriage ban, leaving the Indiana-led brief dangling.

“The move means the Silver State will no longer argue to uphold the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage passed by voters in 2002,” reports United Press International.

For more, start with this Feb. 11th ILB post.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 14, 2014 11:45 AM
Posted to Indiana Government