Will Sixth Circuit Be First to Rule Against Marriage Equality?

Written by scott on August 9th, 2014

Sixth Circuit

Andrew Sullivan collects some of the views from pundits who see a possible end to the winning streak for marriage equality in the courts.

The Dish reports:

At one rather awkward point, Sutton launched into a strange monologue about the gay rights movement’s tactics, one that seemed barely tethered to the merits of the case at hand:

I would’ve thought the best way to get respect and dignity is through the democratic process. Forcing one’s neighbors, co-employees, friends, to recognize that these marriages, the status deserves the same respect as the status in a heterosexual couple. … If the goal is to change hearts and minds … isn’t it worth the expense? Don’t you think you’re more likely to change hearts and minds through the democratic process than you are through a decision by five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court?

These words should be very unnerving for supporters of same-sex marriage. Don’t come to us with your demands for equal protection and fundamental rights, Sutton implied; take your case to the voters instead. Being a legal stranger to your spouse and child isn’t so bad, he suggests, that you need to turn to the federal courts for relief.

How soon will the court rule? And if it does rule against marriage equality, will this help to create incentive for the US Supreme Court to step in?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ralph Stephens says:

    This judge is an idiot…how about racial segregation? Roe Vs Wade?

  2. Bill says:

    All civil rights are adjudicated in the courts, ultimately at the Supreme Court level. No one is forced to recognize any relationship of others, but they also are not to be allowed to deny others their relationship choices either.

  3. Mr Eric G. Osterberg says:

    And Sutton is a judge? How stupid is the comment “Forcing one’s neighbors, co-employees, friends, to recognize that these marriages, the status deserves the same respect as the status in a heterosexual couple.” He must be a homophobe.

  4. We are pessimistic, though we hope we are wrong, that the three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will sustain the rulings of the lower courts that the bans on same-gender marriage and on recognizing same-gender marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions violate the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Judge Daughtrey’s voting record and her remarks at the hearing held on 6 August 2014 strongly suggest that she opposes the bans.

    Judge Cook’s voting record tells us that she has a heart of stone.

    Probably, therefore, Judge Sutton holds the swing vote and he appears to be leaning toward overturning the rulings of the lower courts, though it is impossible to predict how he will vote (he shocked many Republicans by voting for Obamacare).

    If the court votes against the bans, a circuit-break will result, that is, a situation in which at least one United States court of appeals has voted against the bans and at least one has voted for them.

    That situation will prompt the Supreme Court of the United States of America to decide the question. If that happens, given the present composition of the court, we tend to think that it will vote by 5 to 4 in favor of marriage equality.

  5. Julien says:

    Justice Sutton reminds me of several of the Supreme Court Justices such as Scalia and Alito who prefer to use rhetorical questions to camouflage the imposition of their political ideologies rather than apply the law.

    The answer to Sutton’s ridiculous question is: Yes, it would be better. The problem is experience has proven that history does not work this way. People are slow to change unless prodded. If we had waited for people’s hearts and minds to change we might still have slavery in some States, certainly we would have segregation, women would not vote, and the list goes on. The Sixth Circuit will have a VERY difficult time maintaining its credibility when so many federal jurisdictions have clearly articulated all of the reasons that marriage equality is a fundamental right.

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