Gay Marriage Arguments Compel New Mexico Supreme Court to Webcast for First Time Ever on Wednesday

NmscNew Mexico's Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday regardinga petition filed by 33 New Mexico County Clerks asking the court to issue a statewide binding resolution on the legality of same-sex marriage in the state. The request came in September following weeks in which eight New Mexico counties began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples based on the state's gender-neutral marriage laws, beginning with Doña Ana County on August 21.

Later in September, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the law firm of Sutin, Thayer & Browne APC, and other New Mexico attorneys filed a brief urging the Court to issue a binding ruling.

Conservative lawmakers and groups followed with their own brief, asking the court to declare it illegal.

NewmexicoThe arguments will be webcast for the first time in the state's history. KOAT will stream the arguments on their website. KUNM will also simulcast the arguments. The arguments are slated to begin at 9:00 am on Wednesday:

There is significant public interest in the case; on a conference call with reporters, same-sex marriage advocates said that there will be enough room for 150 people in person.
The arguments will also be longer than usual. While oral arguments are usually limited to 40 minutes. In this case, there will be two hours worth of arguments.
One hour will be devoted to state statutes related to same-sex marriage and the other on the constitutional question regarding same-sex marriage.

The New Mexico Supreme Court said it won't decide immediately on same-sex marriage after hearing arguments on Wednesday:
"The court clerk told lawyers last week that the court won't make a
decision on the day of the hearing but will take the case under
consideration. The justices will hear one hour of arguments on
constitutional issues and an hour on issues about state statutes
involving marriage."


  1. Francis #1 says

    I read it could take several months for a decision in New Mexico. The first thing that has to be decided is whether the state actually allows same-sex marriage as it currently stands.

    The fact for the first time ever Supreme Court arguments are being webcast in NM just highlight how, whether you’re for marriage equality or not….people really do care about this issue. This is the social issue of our day, without a doubt.

  2. Jack says


    While true, remember two things:

    1) Just because judges are voted in (which I do believe is generally problematic) does not mean they necessarily kowtow to public opinion. Some people still have some integrity, and I think it’s unfair to implicitly accuse them of basing their decision on politics (before they’ve even made their decision) without any evidence that they have done so in the past.

    2) Those NM voters elected Gary Johnson, a marriage equality proponent, as governor. So even if the judges are likely to put politics above sound legal decision, that might not necessarily be a bad thing for us.

  3. Marco Luxe says

    NM justices need only obtain 57% of the vote to win retention. Although one justice will be voted on in 2014, two will face voters in ’18 and two in ’20. I can’t find any record of a modern justice failing retention. Thus, they seem to have not insignificant political insulation.

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