5th Circuit Family Law News - U.S. Fifth Circuit
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More than 30 federal courts have ruled against state bans on gay marriage since Windsor. Until today, federal courts unanimously agreed that such bans were unconstitutional, regardless of the level of scrutiny applied -- rational basis, intermediate, or strict scrutiny.

U.S. District Court Judge Martin Leach-Cross Feldman (a Reagan appointee) made note of the unanimity before straying from the course of his colleagues, noting, "It would no doubt be celebrated to be in the company of the near-unanimity of the many other federal courts that have spoken to this pressing issue, if this Court were confident in the belief that those cases provide a correct guide."

Applying the rational basis test, Judge Feldman held that Louisiana had two interests at stake: linking children to intact families formed by biological parents and "safeguarding that fundamental social change, in this instance, is better cultivated through democratic consensus."

Lambda Legal Appealing Fifth Circuit Decision in Adar v. Smith

Same-sex couples around the United States have a new reason to brush up on the Full Faith and Credit Clause. On Tuesday, Lambda Legal filed a writ of certiorari in Adar v. Smith, the same-sex adoption case in which the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Full Faith and Credit Clause applies only to state courts, not state government officials.

The case involves same-sex parents Oren Adar and Mickey Smith, who sought an updated birth certificate for their Louisiana-born son after adopting him in New York, in 2006. Despite a Louisiana law that requires a state official to make a new record reflecting adoptive parents’ names upon receipt of a certified adoption decree, Louisiana State Registrar Darlene Smith refused the request because Louisiana does not permit unmarried couples to adopt jointly.

Case Involving Garnishment of Community Property

US v. Loftis, No. 09-10482, concerned defendant's appeal from the district court's order of garnishment, which set aside a community property partition agreement entered into between defendant and her husband.  The court of appeals affirmed the order, on the grounds that 1) the partition agreement was clearly voidable as a fraudulent transfer under 28 U.S.C. section 3304(b)(1)(B)(ii); and 2) the district court was correct to treat the couple's assets as jointly managed property.

As the court wrote:  "Lisa Loftis ("Lisa") appeals the district court's Final Order of Garnishment, which set aside a community property partition agreement entered into between Lisa and her husband, Todd Loftis ("Todd"). She contends that the district court erroneously found the partition agreement to be a fraudulent transfer, and she challenges the scope of the garnishment ordered. We reject her arguments and affirm."

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