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“Kicking and screaming”

Looks like we’re going to have to wait for SCOTUS to finally bring same sex marriage to Texas.


Daniel McNeel Lane Jr., who represents two same-sex couples challenging Texas’ marriage ban, previously predicted the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would bring marriage equality to the state before Easter.

But Lane said this week he now believes the 5th Circuit is waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments later this month and is expected to rule by the end of June in marriage cases from four states.

“I thought that the 5th Circuit would want to have its voice heard … and we would not have to have the Supreme Court drag us kicking and screaming like bitter-enders to marriage equality, but it appears that’s the way it will have to occur,” said Lane, a partner with Akin Gump Srauss Hauer & Feld in San Antonio. “In a case involving a fundamental constitutional right, the court shouldn’t be waiting around. The court should have its voice heard, and it’s a pity that that hasn’t happened yet.”

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit heard oral arguments in marriage cases from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi on Jan. 9. Seven times in the last year, federal appeals courts have heard same-sex marriage cases, but only once has it taken more than three months for them to rule after oral arguments.

Lane predicted that even if the Supreme Court issues a nationwide ruling in favor of marriage equality, as most experts predict, it could take a while for Texas comply. He said county clerks in places like Austin and San Antonio likely would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples right away, but others would wait until the 5th Circuit issues a corresponding decision in the Texas case.

“I think that there will be some marriages in Texas this summer, and probably some pushback this summer,” Lane said. “Marriage equality in Texas this summer could be a hot mess, but who doesn’t like a hot mess?”

See here and here for the background. And speaking of hot messes, AG Ken Paxton is standing tall and firm as ever against gay marriage.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined a dozen other states’ top lawyers in signing Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell’s amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to respect states’ gay marriage bans, his office said Thursday.

The brief urges the justices to uphold a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. It affirmed four states’ constitutional authority to refuse to allow same-sex marriages or recognize existing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

States should continue to be allowed to define marriage, Paxton and the other state attorneys general said.

“The states’ exercise of sovereign authority is at its apex in domestic relations law,” their brief said. In addition to Paxton and Caldwell, it was signed by attorneys general in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia.

In a statement, Paxton said he’s defending state sovereignty.

“I urge the Supreme Court to uphold the [Cincinnati] appeals court’s ruling and strike down these blatant attempts to disregard the will of millions of citizens in Texas and dozens of other states who stood and voted for the cherished institution of marriage,” he said.

Last month, Paxton appeared at an Austin rally in support of “Biblical marriage.” Paxton and other social conservatives say that means the union of a man and a woman.

Kicking and screaming indeed.

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