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No Weddings in Fort Lauderdale This Week

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Florida From SpaceThe ruling in a marriage equality case that might have opened the door to marriage equality in Fort Lauderdale this week has been vacated on a technicality.

Joe.My.God reports:

“It has come to this Court’s attention that the Petitioner, Heather Brassner, has failed to comply with [state law] by failing to notice the Office of the Attorney General of these proceedings by either registered or certified mail,” Broward Circuit Judge Dale Cohen wrote in his order. “Therefore, this Court vacates its prior ruling declaring Article 1, section 27 and Florida Statute 741.212 unconstitutional.” Cohen canceled a hearing set for Wednesday afternoon at the Broward Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale to finalize the dissolution of Brassner’s 2002 Vermont civil union with ex-partner Megan Lade, and wrote that “the Parties may schedule a rehearing” in the case. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office said Tuesday it had not been in touch with the judge and “will continue to monitor the case,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Meale.

Thirty days after Cohen ruled, Brassner’s attorney, Nancy Brodzki, declared victory and expected Brassner’s divorce to become final on Sept. 10. She and other LGBT activists hoped the ruling would pave the way to gay marriage in Broward. Brodzki said Tuesday she got a call from Cohen’s judicial assistant, after the judge realized the state had not been notified. “The judge being a very thorough judge, obviously was doing all his research prior to tomorrow’s ruling and came across a rule of civil procedure as well as the Florida Statute, and recognized that that rule and statute had not been strictly complied with,” said Brodzki, a Coral Springs divorce lawyer. “He is being scrupulous that he, as the judge, and we, as the petitioners, have dotted every I and crossed every T. He found one and wants to correct it, so that his judgment, when it is entered, is not attacked on procedural grounds.”

Back to square one.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Florida.

USA: Standing Decision in Prop 8 / Defense of Marriage Act Cases Could Lead to Earlier Announcement

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

US Supreme CourtLisa Keen at Keen News Service focuses on Kennedy’s questions:

In the Proposition 8 argument, Kennedy asked three questions concerning legal standing and five concerning constitutional issues. On legal standing, he sent mixed signals. He expressed discomfort with the idea that the governor or attorney general of California could seemingly “thwart the initiative process” by refusing to defend a voter-approved initiative all the way through the appellate process. He also rebuffed a statement by Chief Justice John Roberts–who said a state “can’t authorize anyone” to press an appeal. Kennedy said the Yes on 8 proponents were “different from saying any citizen.” Those two points seemed to support allowing Yes on 8 standing to appeal. And yet, he acknowledged there is a “substantial question on standing.”

So what happens if the case is decided on a technicality? keen notes:

If the court finds a problem with legal standing or jurisdiction on either of these cases, it will likely issue that decision in the near future. Discussions of legal standing do not generally require a great deal of rumination. If it decides on the merits, the decision or decisions will most likely come out–as they have with past major gay-related opinions–in the final week of the session–the last week in June.

Interesting. So there’s at least a small possibility that we might have a decision in these cases before June.