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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Courts - More on: Thursday in the 10th Circuit, constitutionality of Utah same sex marriage ban review

Also today, as noted in this ILB post yesterday, "all eyes are focused on the 10th Circuit," to paraphrase the headline from The Deseret News quoted in this How Appealing post.

Indiana is represented in this 10th Circuit action, as Attorney General Zoeller has authored and filed an amicus brief on behalf of the State of Indiana supporting the State of Utah in opposing same-sex marriage.

And a piece of until now unreported news. Our Indiana attorney general on Friday, April 4th authored and submitted an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit same-sex marriage challenge, Bostic v. Schaefer. Here is the amicus brief. The following states joined Indiana on its amicus brief: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

Interestingly, in this opinion piece in the Sunday, April 6th LaPorte Herald-Argus, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller writes:

As Indiana attorney general, I have been asked why my office is defending [ Indiana's traditional marriage definition law] in court when some AGs in other states are not defending their states' traditional marriage laws from similar lawsuits.

I explain that I took an oath to represent and defend Indiana's state government and its existing statutes. I don't make the laws — that's the Legislature's job — but I have a solemn obligation to defend those laws while there is a good-faith defense, and I cannot shirk my duty nor abdicate that responsibility to others.

This is not personal advocacy on my part or by the lawyers who work in my office. Whenever the State of Indiana is sued, you - the taxpayers and citizens of the state — are really being sued collectively, and you are entitled to counsel.

The long opinion piece does not, however, explain why our Attorney General has elected to author and submit amicus briefs in courts across the county, defending the statutes of these other states when they have been sued.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 10, 2014 09:38 AM
Posted to Courts in general