ILNews

Same-sex plaintiffs argue the governor enforces marriage statute

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Plaintiffs in Love v. Pence, the first lawsuit filed in March challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, filed their response to the state’s motion to dismiss their complaint, arguing the governor has the power to order county clerks to issue marriage licenses.  

Represented by Louisville attorneys at Clay Daniel Walton & Adams PLC and Fauver Law Office PLLC, the plaintiffs filed their opposition to the state’s motion in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana.

Indiana is seeking to have Love dismissed on the grounds that the sole named defendant, Gov. Mike Pence, cannot provide relief. The Indiana attorney general contends the governor does not issue marriage licenses nor does he perform any other function that would recognize marriages solemnized in other states.

The four couples counter that as a “basic matter of civics,” laws are enforced through the executive branch. Therefore, since the governor is the head of the executive branch, he is the proper defendant.

Moreover, granting the state’s motion to dismiss would, in the extreme, mean employees in every county clerk’s office who actually take the marriage application would have to be named individually as a defendant, the plaintiffs argue.   

“Under Defendant’s theory, if the entity is not included as a defendant in the suit, the citizens of the state are just stuck with unconstitutional policy, and the Governor is powerless to intervene,” the plaintiffs’ assert. “There is no need for such complicated musings, because there is one entity, one person, who has the authority to direct change in all of these avenues. That person is the Governor.”

Love v. Pence, 4:14-cv-00015, is one of five lawsuits seeking to have Indiana’s statute defining marriage as between one man and one woman declared unconstitutional. All the cases are being argued before Chief Judge Richard Young.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

ADVERTISEMENT