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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - AG Zoeller will not file amicus brief in historic SSM case now pending before SCOTUS

That is gleaned from this story yesterday by Gannet's Richard Wolf and Maureen Groppe, here in the Muncie Star-Press, headed "Briefs urge high court to keep gay marriage bans." It begins (ILB emphasis):

WASHINGTON – Republican officials and religious organizations dominate a growing list of more than 50 groups urging the Supreme Court to uphold state bans on same-sex marriage.

The flood of "friend of the court" briefs arriving at the court by Friday's deadline easily made the upcoming case the most heavily lobbied in the court's recent history. Last month, more than 70 briefs were filed by proponents of gay marriage, including one signed by more than 200,000 people.

Indiana was not among the 15 states, all led by Republican governors, that filed briefs calling for the bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee to be upheld.

Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, said the state did not weigh in because the Supreme Court let stand last year a lower court's rejection of Indiana's ban. Corbin said Zoeller felt his office had "fulfilled our duty to defend the statute."*

There were also no Indiana lawmakers on the brief filed by 57 members of Congress urging the court to allow states to ban gay marriage.

But Indiana attorney Jim Bopp wrote a brief for himself and other members of the 2012 Republican National Convention platform committee.

"The Republican Party has long known that the key to a free society is the family, based on a marriage between a man and a woman," Bopp wrote.

The signers of that brief notably did not include GOP Chairman Reince Priebus. * * *

Indiana University argued in a brief filed last month that if the court allows states to ban gay marriage, Indiana is likely to go back to doing so. That, IU said, would damage the school's efforts "to make its academic environment welcoming to diverse students, faculty and staff" and could reverse its policies that treat same-sex relationships as equals of opposite-sex marriages.

There are four same-sex marriage appeals, all out of the 6th Circuit, combined by SCOTUS and scheduled for oral argument on April 28, 2015. The issues:You may see all the documents on the SCOTUSblog case pages. Here is the case page for Bourke v. Beshear, the appeal of the State of Kentucky. Among the amicus briefs listed is the Indiana University brief. I am not finding the Bopp brief on the list, but it is available here.

*In the past, Indiana's Attorney General has been the lead author on many amicus briefs in same-sex marriage cases in circuits across the country where the State of Indiana was not a party, as well as in the two SCOTUS cases last term. The ILB has commented on this a number of times, including this June 23, 2014 post, and this one from July 23, 2014.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 7, 2015 11:14 AM
Posted to Indiana Government