Filed under: DeBoer
The state officials defending Michigan’s anti-gay marriage and adoption laws from constitutional attack in federal court are asking the judge to limit the issues he will hear at trial.
Continue 14 CommentsDecember 13, 2013
The same-sex couples challenging Michigan’s marriage equality ban have filed a new motion asking the federal district court to split their upcoming trial into two parts.
Continue 1 CommentNovember 26, 2013
The hearing in DeBoer v. Snyder, the federal challenge to Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban has just concluded and the judge said he won’t issue a ruling today.
Continue 1 CommentOctober 16, 2013
A federal judge will hear oral arguments in the challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage in mid-October.
Continue 2 CommentsSeptember 16, 2013
By Jacob Combs
This week, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette, both Republicans, filed their answering brief in the marriage equality case known as DeBoer v. Snyder, a challenge to the state’s equal marriage ban by a lesbian couple who originally sued to obtain joint adoption of their three children but were later encouraged by the judge hearing their case to expand that case to include a marriage challenge.
In their amended complaint, the couple wrote that the Michigan Marriage Amendment–which limits marriage to opposite-sex couples–violates the due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The couple urged the judge to consider the amendment under the “‘important and substantial relationship’ test,” but also argued that “because the Michigan Marriage Amendment serves no legitimate government interest, it fails the rational basis test, and cannot survive any form of scrutiny.”
Unsurprisingly, Snyder and Schuette disagreed, and used their reply brief to refute the plaintiffs’ arguments. Although both plaintiffs, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, presented themselves as parents of their three children in their complaint, the state officials deny that both women are the parents of their children, instead falling back on the technical legal argument that “Plaintiff DeBoer is the legal parent of R and Plaintiff Rowse is the legal parent of J and N.”
Throughout their brief filing, Snyder and Schuette repeatedly utilize phrases such as “State Defendants deny that Plaintiffs have been subjected to adverse treatment” or “State Defendants deny any disparate treatment or equal-protection violation.” The state officials reject the suggestion to use the important and substantial relationship test, arguing instead in favor of a rational basis test, which they allege the Michigan Marriage Amendment clears:
The Michigan Marriage Amendment fosters the State’s legitimate interest in promoting responsible natural procreation, which, in turn, promotes raising children in a home environment with both a mother and a father, giving the children the benefit of having a role model of both sexes.
The Michigan Marriage Amendment does not violate the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. There is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage under the due process provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Further, the State’s marriage laws satisfy the rational basis test under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
In conclusion, Snyder and Schuette write that “Plaintiffs lack standing to assert some or all of their claims,” “Plaintiffs have not stated a claim for which relief can be granted” and urge the could to “exercise its discretion to abstain from adjudicating these claims.”
Oral arguments in DeBoer v. Snyder are planned for October 1.
After the jump, you can read the full filing, via Scribd. (H/t to Kathleen, as usual.)
Leave a CommentJuly 26, 2013
By Scottie Thomaston
A scheduling conference in the lawsuit challenging Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban, DeBoer v. Snyder, took place yesterday, July 10 in federal district court. The federal judge declined to dismiss the case last week, but did not issue a final ruling or a schedule for further motions or arguments, putting the decision off until yesterday’s conference.
No final decision on the merits of the constitutional challenge to the ban was released yesterday, and the judge has set oral arguments for October 1. Challenges against same-sex marriage bans in Nevada and Hawaii are likely to see oral arguments in October as well, though probably at the end of the month, since an extension of time was sought to file briefs. Those cases are already in the appeals court, though, at the Ninth Circuit.
In Illinois, Lambda Legal has filed a motion for summary judgment in Darby v. Orr and Lazaro v. Orr. This is a request for a decision on the merits, (in the plaintiffs’ favor, in this case.) Their brief in support of summary judgment is much like the one they filed in the New Jersey case: both are state cases, both states have civil unions. In one section, they write:
Plaintiffs who obtained civil unions by license from illinois county clerks currently are denied a number of federal benefits and protections that would be available to them and their families if they could marry now that DOMA has been struck down.
The filing goes on to list specific ways civil unions deny same-sex couples equal protection under the law afforded to opposite-sex couples. There is no timeline for the court to act in the case.
2 CommentsJuly 11, 2013