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Old 10-06-2014, 03:16 PM   #1
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Default SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2...11_states.html

In a startling and unexpected move, on Monday the Supreme Court refused to review seven gay marriage cases from five different states. That decision effectively legalized gay marriage in those five states—Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin—almost immediately. But within the next few weeks, the court’s move will likely bring gay marriage to six more states—meaning that, without actually ruling on the topic, the justices will have brought marriage equality to 11 states in one fell swoop.

Here’s how that works. Technically speaking, the court’s decision merely let the rulings of the 4th, 7th, and 10th circuit courts stand. Each of those courts had found that gay marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution. But each court also stayed its ruling, assuming, quite reasonably, that the Supreme Court would ultimately step in and decide the issue.

But the Supreme Court has now officially refused to step in—and that makes gay marriage the “law of the circuit” in the 4th, 7th, and 10th circuits. Every state within each circuit, in other words, is now bound by a ruling that all gay marriage bans are unconstitutional.

What does that mean in practice? Among the states in the 4th Circuit, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia do not yet allow gay marriage. Among the states in the 10th Circuit, Kansas, Wyoming, and Colorado do not yet allow gay marriage. But the law of the 4th and 10th circuits states that gay marriage bans violate the Constitution. Lower court judges in Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming, then, are now legally obliged to strike down their states’ gay marriage bans.

Luckily for marriage equality proponents, a gay marriage case is already pending in every single one of those states. Soon, then, the judges overseeing each case should grant summary judgment in favor of marriage equality. Gay marriage opponents won’t have much incentive to appeal the decisions; the appeals courts for each state have already found that gay people have a constitutional right to wed. Within a few weeks, expect to see marriage equality arrive in Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming—for good.

Update, Oct. 6, 2014: I asked Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, what he thought would happen in these six states.

“The law is clear,” he told me. “Each of these states is in a circuit where the Supreme Court let stand a freedom to marry ruling. And that is binding on those states. I think in some of those states, marriage is going to begin as soon as today. There should be no need to go to court.” In other words, state attorneys general may simply direct county clerks to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, in accordance with the law of the circuit. Colorado’s attorney general has already directed gay marriages to begin.

In states with vehemently anti-gay governors and attorneys general, however, “There may have to be some extra steps taken, such as [gay couples] getting a court order.” Still, Wolfson told me, “It’s crystal clear where each of these states is going end up—it’s just not exactly clear how some of them may get there.”
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

Hurray for inaction!
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

This inaction is actually moving things forward. Time for some of the states in this country to get with the times and let these people who legitimately love one another share in the same bonds that are afforded to heterosexual couples.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

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This inaction is actually moving things forward. Time for some of the states in this country to get with the times and let these people who legitimately love one another share in the same bonds that are afforded to heterosexual couples.
In my state:

US Supreme Court gay marriage action: Will Gov. Haley, AG Wilson waste taxpayer money?

Gov. Nikki Haley and state Attorney General Alan Wilson are doomed to fail in their efforts to fight against same-sex marriages after Monday’s clear signal from the U.S. Supreme Court that such marriages are legal in South Carolina, some experts say.

“The state can continue to fight if it wants, but it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money – (Haley and Wilson) are going to lose, but they may feel politically they don’t want to give in and have people say they are responsible for gay marriage in South Carolina,” said Donald Songer, a University of South Carolina political scientist and judicial expert.

“If the attorney general was smart, he’d just say this is a waste of time, money and would be fruitless litigation,” said Carl Tobias, constitutional law professor at the University of Richmond, speaking of the same-sex marriage ruling that was just upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Neither Wilson nor Haley would give a specific answer when asked by The State newspaper how much the ongoing legal action is costing.

In Monday’s action, the U.S. Supreme County let stand a July ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that overturned a Virginia ban on same-sex marriage. The 4th Circuit oversees federal courts in both Carolinas, Virginia, West Virgina and Maryland. Its decisions are binding on those states.

“I’m not surprised at the governor – I assume to her, it’s politics. I am surprised that Wilson is doing this because he is a lawyer. He knows the 4th Circuit decision is going to apply to South Carolina,” said University of South Carolina School of Law family law associate professor Marcia Zug. “We all know what the final result will be – same-sex marriage is coming.”

Haley and Wilson said Monday they would keeping on fighting in federal court a lawsuit filed in 2013 by a South Carolina same-sex couple who live in Lexington County. Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin, who were legally married in the District of Columbia in 2012, said in their lawsuit they are denied numerous equal rights and benefits that married South Carolina heterosexual couples have.

In statements Monday, Wilson and Haley said they would keep fighting the couple’s bid to be on an equal legal footing with married heterosexual couples.

Wilson released a statement saying, “Our case has not yet been decided. Until the courts rule on the matter, South Carolina will seek to uphold our state constitution.”

A governor’s spokesman released this statement: “Governor Haley agrees with Attorney General Wilson – our voter-approved state law should be followed until a court rules on it directly.”

State Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, an outspoken supporter of traditional marriage between a man and a woman, said he believes a majority of South Carolinians support Wilson and Haley on the issue. “They would support the attorney general and the governor only going down with a fight – and fighting to win, not fighting to lose,” Fair said.

Meanwhile, Haley’s opponents for governor in the November race weighed in.

“Further litigation on this issue will be a waste of time and precious taxpayer dollars,” said state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw. But – in an effort to come down on both sides of the issue – Sheheen appeared to endorse Haley’s and Wilson’s efforts to continue battling in a South Carolina federal court.

“The Federal District Court in South Carolina should rule on the South Carolina case, and when that decision is given, whether you agree with it or not, we must abide by it,” Sheheen said.

Tom Ervin, a former judge and petition candidate for governor, said, “The Supreme Court has made its decision and further action by the state is a poor use of resources.”

The lawsuit Bradacs and Goodwin filed against Haley and the attorney general attacks not only a Legislature-passed 1996 law that prohibits marriage for same-sex couples, but a 2007 amendment to the state Constitution that expressly prohibits marriage for same-sex couples. Almost 80 percent of South Carolinians approved that amendment at the polls in 2006.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The decision has led to a wave of federal and appellate court decisions that almost unanimously strike down state bans on same-sex marriage.

Tobias said the S.C. federal judge in the case, Michelle Childs, is bound by Virginia’s Bostic decision, so she has to rule against Haley and Wilson. Then, if Haley and Wilson appeal, their appeal will go to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which already has ruled.

“If they want to be stubborn, they can do that,” Tobias said. “It could be a couple of months. But it will cost them money and time, and they are just going to look stupid. They aren’t going to win – that’s the bottom line.”

Songer said Haley and Wilson are like South Carolina’s segregationist politicians of the past who fought federal laws and courts for years to prevent giving blacks equal rights.

“They (politicians in the past) didn’t want want people blaming them for ending segregated schools,” Songer said. “I hate to see politicians fight a fight they are clearly going to lose. All they are is delaying a little bit and they are clearly going to lose.”

Although Bradacs’ and Goodwin’s suit was filed in August 2013, and Wilson and Haley have filed a reply, that suit basically has been on hold. All sides agreed to wait and see what happened in the Virginia case before proceeding.

John Nichols, a lawyer for Bradacs and Goodwin, said Monday he and co-counsel Carrie Warner are drafting a motion for summary judgment to present to Judge Childs in the near future.

Such a motion, which argues no dispute exists about either facts or law in a case, is basically a request for the judge to toss out a case as having no merit before it even gets started.

“We hope the state will not waste valuable resources defending that which the courts have declared is not defensible,” Nichols said.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

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Songer said Haley and Wilson are like South Carolina’s segregationist politicians of the past who fought federal laws and courts for years to prevent giving blacks equal rights.
This right here. Have fun being portrayed as the villain for future generations.
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Old 10-07-2014, 01:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

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Songer said Haley and Wilson are like South Carolina’s segregationist politicians of the past who fought federal laws and courts for years to prevent giving blacks equal rights.

This right here. Have fun being portrayed as the villain for future generations.
just think of the tax payer money southern states segregationist politicians wasted on that losing battle.
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

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just think of the tax payer money southern states segregationist politicians wasted on that losing battle.
Don't you see, they're just trying to make sure that government money is only spent on decent, straight, white folk.

Oh wait, that's fucking horrible.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

Cap might love Troy but she sure don't love this
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

Two things I really wish Ol' Bama would use his executive orders on:

-Gay marriage
-Minimum wage raises/lowering Congress' wages to practically nothing

These threads aren't as entertaining after... Well, y'know.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: SCOTUS Just Allowed Gay Marriage In 11 States—Including South Carolina and Kansas

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Don't you see, they're just trying to make sure that government money is only spent on decent, straight, white folk.

Oh wait, that's fucking horrible.
the good god fearing people of this state as the segregationist would say.
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