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Court hears arguments in same-sex marriage case

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A same-sex couple  fighting to have Indiana recognize their marriage returned to court Friday to convince a judge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Chief Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana heard arguments May 2 on pending motions in Baskin et al. v. Bogan et al., 1:14-cv-0355. Lambda Legal argued on behalf of the plaintiffs and Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher argued the state’s case.

On April 10, Young granted a temporary restraining order requiring the state to acknowledge the marriage of two of the plaintiffs, Nikole Quasney and Amy Sandler. The women made an emotional appeal to the court to make the state recognize their marriage before Quasney loses her battle with stage IV ovarian cancer.

Young’s TRO instructed the Indiana State Department of Health to list Sandler as the spouse on any future death certificate for Quasney.  

After today’s arguments in the Winfield K. Denton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Evansville, Young took under advisement the motions for summary judgment. He will rule at a later date.

Lawsuits challenging state bans on same-sex marriage have been filed across the country ever since the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in U.S. v. Windsor. Five lawsuits have been filed in Indiana since March.

Today, Fisher argued the Windsor decision left intact the authority of states and their legislatures to define marriage. Therefore, he contends, Indiana can legislate marriage as being between one man and one woman and can legally choose to not recognize same-sex unions granted in other states.
 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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