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Utah and Oklahoma Marriage Equality Court Challenges: An Update

Earlier this month the ACLU sued the state of Utah on behalf of four gay couples married before the Supreme Court placed a stay on a lower court ruling striking down the state's ban. The suit was filed because Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced that the 1,300+ marriages would be "on hold" pending the appeal of that case and would not be recognized.

UtahThat case will now go to federal court, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The Utah Attorney General’s Office filed a notice on Tuesday, moving the case from the 3rd District Court in West Jordan to the U.S. District Court for Utah. The case has been assigned to Judge Dale A. Kimball.

...In the ACLU lawsuit, the plaintiffs want the court to declare valid any marriages that took place between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6, when the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the decision, even if Amendment 3 is eventually found to be constitutional.

And in the federal appellate court appeal of the ruling striking down the state's ban, arguments are set to be heard on April 10 by a three judge, randomly-assigned panel, which will also hear the case from Oklahoma:

The 10th Circuit has agreed to let the same panel handle an appeal from Oklahoma, where a lower court struck down a similar ban on same-sex marriage. The court also will allow amicus briefs to be filed jointly in the Utah and Oklahoma cases. The appellate court has set an expedited briefing schedule for Oklahoma, with the last filings due April 7. The last filings in the Utah case are due March 4.

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Comments

  1. Very exciting developments! Marriage equality could come to both Utah and Oklahoma soon in one fell swoop.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Jan 30, 2014 8:05:58 AM


  2. Not only that, Spacecadet, but also possibly the entire 10th Circuit

    Posted by: WOLF | Jan 30, 2014 8:42:01 AM


  3. "Kimball" Like as in a relative to former Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball? That doesn't sound promising. :(

    Posted by: Kieran | Jan 30, 2014 9:03:59 AM


  4. Hmm. Judge Kimball is a Clinton nominee. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of an LDS Church owned news outlet, Deseret Publishing. However, there is nothing in my reading to suggest that he is anything but a distinguished and highly competent jurist.

    Posted by: WOLF | Jan 30, 2014 11:00:27 AM


  5. Sorry I don't understand how a Utah and Oklahoma state ruling could to apply to the entire 10th circuit...please explain (though such a ruling would be wonderful!)

    Posted by: alli | Jan 30, 2014 3:37:56 PM


  6. Why was this case removed from state to federal court? The governor's administrative power over marriage in relation to state agencies during a judicial stay seems like it would be a state matter. The state court judge assigned the case, Judge Barry Lawrence, has a New York background [Syracuse, Cornell] while federal district Judge Kimball is inner circle LDS hierarchy. Strategic move by the state?

    Posted by: Marco Luxe | Jan 30, 2014 3:58:11 PM


  7. If the 10th circuit makes the ruling on this case then it would be applied to the entire 10th circuit because the case could simply be used as precedent evidence, but only in the 10th circuit. Unless the case has been ruled narrow to Utah, and to my knowledge, it hasn't. Other circuits could take their notes from the ruling, but they wouldn't be able to use the case as evidence in a precedent ruling.

    Posted by: Richard Harney | Jan 30, 2014 4:17:16 PM


  8. If the 10th circuit makes the ruling on this case then it would be applied to the entire 10th circuit because the case could simply be used as precedent evidence, but only in the 10th circuit. Unless the case has been ruled narrow to Utah, and to my knowledge, it hasn't. Other circuits could take their notes from the ruling, but they wouldn't be able to use the case as evidence in a precedent ruling.

    Posted by: Richard Harney | Jan 30, 2014 4:17:16 PM


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