Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Marriage Equality in Louisiana

Citing lack of jurisdiction, a federal court has dismissed a lawsuit seeking marriage equality in Louisiana, the Washington Blade reports:

CaldwellU.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, a Reagan appointee, dismissed the lawsuit, known as Robicheaux v. Caldwell, on Wednesday because plaintiffs named only Attorney General James Caldwell (pictured) as a defendant and he hasn’t denied them the recognition of their marriage.

“The Attorney General’s sweeping responsibility to enforce the laws of the State of Louisiana lacks the Ex parte Young specificity nexus between the Attorney General and the alleged unconstitutional provisions that is essential to defeat sovereign immunity,” Feldman writes.

Scott Spivey, an attorney in New Orleans, filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of Jon Robicheaux and Derek Pinton, who married in Iowa last year and are seeking the recognition of their marriage in their home state of Louisiana. Another Louisiana same-sex couple who married in Iowa, Nadine and Courtney Blanchard, later joined as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs say they plan to amend their complaint and name Secretary Tim Barfield of the State Department of Revenue as the defendant, and are hopeful that the court will accept it.