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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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