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Indiana argues same-sex marriage of terminally ill woman should not be recognized

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While conceding the same-sex marriage lawsuit involving a terminally ill Indiana woman would warrant an exception, the Indiana attorney general maintained no legal exception has been found and the marriage should not be recognized by the state.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office filed its response to an emergency motion which asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift its stay for only two plaintiffs, Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler.  

Lambda Legal, a national gay rights organization that filed one of the five challenges to Indiana’s marriage law, submitted the emergency motion June 30. Quasney, who is terminally ill with Stage IV ovarian cancer, wants the state to recognize Sandler as her spouse.

The emergency motion was filed in response to the 7th Circuit staying a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana that overturned Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The 7th Circuit expedited the matter, giving the state until noon July 1 to file a response to Lambda Legal’s motion. The court ordered the state to submit its briefs by July 15 and the plaintiffs to turn in their briefs by July 29.

The Circuit Court stated extensions of time will not be granted except in extraordinary circumstances.

The Indiana attorney general argued the state’s marriage statute allows for no hardship exceptions. Therefore, the ban on same-sex marriage should remain in place while the District Court’s ruling is being appealed.

However, the attorney general did hint if the Circuit Court found an exception, the state would not offer any opposition.  

“Indeed, mindful that this request involves just one couple in very narrow and sympathetic circumstances, and that it is not merely the Court and parties but the general public that is watching this case, the State has extensively researched this matter but can find no provision within our legal system that would allow for some extraordinary relief, or humanitarian exception to the rule of law that would grant what the petitioners request,” the attorney general’s response stated. “If this Court can find such an exception that would apply, this circumstance surely warrants its use.”

Lambda Legal was outraged at the state’s response.   

“Attorney General Zoeller’s callous disregard for this family’s circumstances is heartless, cruel and unbecoming of a public official charged with representing the interests of all Hoosiers,” said Camilla Taylor, marriage project director at Lambda Legal. “He is taking steps that no other attorney general anywhere in the country has in fighting to deny respect to the marriage of only one couple facing very significant health issues.”



 
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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