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Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals sets oral arguments for Utah, Oklahoma cases in April

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

The Tenth Circuit has issued an order setting oral arguments in the Utah and Oklahoma same-sex marriage cases a week apart, in April. The arguments will be heard in a special session, since the only times the Tenth Circuit had previously set aside for arguments were in March and May.

The Tenth Circuit has the new schedule on its website: Kitchen v. Herbert, the Utah case, will be heard on April 10, 2014. Bishop v. Smith, the Oklahoma case, will be heard on April 17.

The cases were put on an expedited track, to be heard by the same panel, earlier this week.

Here’s a copy of the orders, via Kathleen Perrin: Utah is here. Oklahoma is here.

For more information on Bishop v. United States from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here. For more information on Kitchen v. Herbert from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.

This is the last week of EqualityOnTrial’s fundraiser to keep the site going this year. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to EqualityOnTrial in the new year to help us travel to Denver, cover the appeals of the Utah and Oklahoma cases, and continue our in-depth, easy-to-understand coverage. Any amount helps!

27 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Keith  |  January 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Does anyone know when we'll learn who the judge(s) will be to hear these cases?

  • 2. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    They announce the panel one week before arguments.

  • 3. Dr. Z  |  January 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    What's this about Utah considering funding their legal defense using an income tax refund check off box? If they don't also afford the opportunity to check off a box to assist the plaintiffs in their legal challenge then this sounds like impermissible viewpoint discrimination to me.

  • 4. Bruno71  |  January 29, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    It's been proposed by a legislator there. I would hope it wouldn't pass, but if it does, I think there'd be mucho legal issues.

  • 5. KarlS  |  January 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Reminds me of the military: Hurry up and wait…

  • 6. Dr. Z  |  January 29, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    To save time, then, they should set up a second check box to defend against the lawsuits against the first check box. And then a third to defend the second, and so forth, like those little nested Russian dolls.

  • 7. Lymis  |  January 29, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Actually, this is great news. They had said that they weren't going to allow any extensions, and then granted one to Utah, which I've read would have pushed things into the May session and could have potentially screwed up any possibility of getting it to SCOTUS next session. But an April set of arguments might still allow a ruling in time for the appeal to be addressed this fall.

  • 8. StraightDave  |  January 29, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Could they then write it off as a deduction against their LDS tithing obligation, aka "church tax"? Sounds like it all ends up in the same place anyway.

  • 9. Lymis  |  January 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    It doesn't even occur to them that the citizens might want to fund the case AGAINST the state. I don't know if they could get away with this even if they put both options, but it sure wouldn't fly as a one sided thing. Just proving more government animus.

    People have pointed out that the tax forms have got to be printed already, so yanking them all and reprinting them for this purpose would, even if it was legal, be ANOTHER unnecessary taxpayer expense.

    As someone said, even if they wanted to do this, why not just set up a website for people to contribute? This is purely a political stunt.

  • 10. StraightDave  |  January 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    And it also brings the Bishop hearing forward from May to Apr, averaging the 2 together. So the latest case finishes earlier than it otherwise would have, giving us 2 bites at the SCOTUS apple. Nevertheless, I still think Fall is optimistic. Isn't there a 90 day window for filing a SCOTUS appeal?

    If I were a cynical a-hole who saw their ship sinking and wanted to take as many people down with me as I could, I'd drag out the 90 days, not letting SCOTUS even consider it in conference until Oct, then you're pretty much guaranteed a June '15 ruling. (but they would never play so dirty, would they)

  • 11. Deeelaaach  |  January 29, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    As a trans MTF member of the church who does not agree with their stance on ME, I can tell you that they could not just "write it off" against their tithing. Tithing has many purposes, among them the church welfare program, building of local churches, temples, missionary work etc. If they want to contribute via this discriminatory idea of tax refund use, they have to do it on their own.

    Should the church itself want to use some of their resources for the purposes of defending the ban, would that get them into trouble regarding their tax exempt status?

  • 12. Deeelaaach  |  January 29, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    <sarcasm> No! Not at all! </sarcasm>

  • 13. Dr. Z  |  January 30, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Given the extreme reluctance of the IRS to enforce laws against partisan political activity by churches, that law doesn't mean much anymore. Personally I think they should adopt some new regulations that recognize two classes of religious institutions: traditional nonpolitical, tax-exempt ones, and corporate churches, temples, etc. that are permitted to engage in a full range of political activities but are taxed just like any other business. Then strictly enforce the law. Just a thought.

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  • 15. Bruno71  |  January 30, 2014 at 11:55 am

    That'd be nice, but obviously the will hasn't been there to change anything (or to pursue churches that currently flout the rules). The LDS church was a backer of prop 8, but the IRS loophole is in place that the rules seem to only apply to candidate elections. At least the prop 8 fallout created a PR fiasco for the LDS church.

  • 16. Rick O.  |  January 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Reluctance of the IRS and the courts, under extreme political pressure. When the whole flap about evangelical churches passing out voting instructions came up about 15 years ago, there were lots of threats and guidelines issued, but no penalties of any sort against anyone, to my knowledge, and lot's of pointing at early Sunday voting in big cities. The problem is separation of church and state has been trashed almost beyond repair. Please note President Constitutional Law Professor has happily kept the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives (pork) very much alive.

  • 17. Rick O.  |  January 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    It dawns on me – pork deemed kosher.

  • 18. sfbob  |  January 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I do see some potential downsides to that (even though I think your proposal is well-intentioned). There are nations, some of which you'd be surprised about, which have lists of "officially recognized" religions. Ours of course is not one of them thanks mainly to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. And because of that very same Establishment Clause I think there would be a great reluctance on the part of legislators at all levels to begin passing laws which classify religious institutions on any basis at all.

    Which brings up a separate issue: Does anyone know whether the Metropolitan Community Church or any of the early LGBT Reform Jewish congregations had difficulty in obtaining 501c3 tax exempt status? I do know that other LGBT organizations (community centers and the like) had a good deal of trouble in that area well into the 1980's.

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