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Indiana authors 2 amicus briefs in same-sex cases before SCOTUS

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The issue of same-sex marriage is before the Supreme Court of the United States, and Indiana has authored one amicus brief and co-authored another arguing that the states should be able to define marriage.

The briefs in U.S. v. Windsor, 12-307, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, 12-144, were filed Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court. Sixteen states joined the Indiana brief in Windsor; 17 states joined the Hollingsworth brief, which was co-authored by Virginia.

In Windsor,  the U.S. justices are being asked to decide whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. Section 7, violates the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

“Because the same equal protection principles generally apply to state and federal laws … it requires no great leap of logic to conclude that a judicial rejection of DOMA would erode constitutional support for similar state laws,” states the Windsor brief, which was drafted by Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher. He argues that the amici states have two interests at stake in this case: protecting their own power to define marriage in the traditional manner and clarifying equal protection principles that apply to marriage laws.

In Hollingsworth, in which the question before the court is whether a state can define marriage as between one man and one woman,  the states argue that they have an interest in protecting their ability to define and regulate marriage and preserving the integrity of their constitutions and democratic processes. The case stems from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the court struck down California’s Proposition 8 that amended the state constitution to say that only marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized in California.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller released a statement Tuesday on the cases, saying, “The State of Indiana has been a leader in advocating generally for the legal authority of states to determine their own marriage license definitions and specifically for the traditional marriage definition of one man and one woman.  Our briefs filed before the U.S. Supreme Court defend the authority of other states to define marriage – including those nine states that legally recognize same-sex couples – and also defend the traditional marriage definition that underpins traditional family structure and is of central legal importance to our state.  

“This legal position does not discriminate against the right of any individual to choose their partner nor discourage same-sex couples from providing loving and stable family environments for children.  It is a defense of the legal ability of the people through their elected representatives to make a policy choice.  As Indiana’s Attorney General, I respect the U.S. Supreme Court’s role in determining this important constitutional question and will respect their decision as is my duty as an officer of the court.”

Arguments in the two cases are scheduled for March 26 and 27, with the court expected to rule by the end of June.

 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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