Judge Young, who threw out Indiana’s gay marriage ban, stepping down

IL file photo

The federal judge who struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages a year before the U.S. Supreme Court did so nationally has decided to step down from full-time status after 25 years.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young announced his decision Thursday with President Joe Biden’s nomination of Magistrate Judge Matthew Brookman to take his place overseeing the federal courtroom based in Evansville.

Young gained attention in 2014 when he ruled that an Indiana law banning same-sex marriages violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Some same-sex couples in Indiana rushed to get married after the ruling, but their status wasn’t clear for several months until the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the state’s appeal of Young’s ruling. The Supreme Court in 2015 ruled that same-sex couples had the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution.

Young, who was nominated as a federal judge by President Bill Clinton in 1998, said in a statement that it was “time to slow down a bit” after 25 years in the position. Young plans to assume senior judge status and continue handling a reduced caseload if the U.S. Senate approves Brookman as his replacement.

Brookman has assisted the full-time federal judges for the Southern District of Indiana since 2016 as a magistrate judge. He had previously worked as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana since 2002.

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