U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Kan. Sup. Ct. to Hear Gay Marriage on Thurs. for No Reason at All

This is cute. The Kansas Supreme Court actually thinks that it might have a say in gay marriage.

That may seem harsh, but you probably already know about the Tenth Circuit's holdings in the Utah and Oklahoma cases. And you probably already know that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to disturb those holdings.

Gay marriage is legal in the Tenth Circuit.

So why is the Kansas Supreme Court hearing oral arguments this week (which you can attend in person -- arrive early!)?

It All Started in Johnson County...

On October 10, a judge in Johnson County, Kansas, ordered the clerk to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Two women immediately applied for and were granted a license, and quickly tied the knot.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt immediately appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court, seeking to stop the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. That appeal is what is set for Thursday.

Meantime, in Wichita and Lecompton...

A few days after the Johnson County case sprang to life, a parallel federal challenge, brought by the ACLU, targeted county clerks in Sedgwick and Douglas counties who denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reports the Capital-Journal.

Of course, as the Tenth Circuit goes, so must go any district court in the circuit. And because the ruling is a foregone conclusion, the ACLU wants the district court to allow marriage licenses to be issued immediately while the courts go through the motions. Because, unless there is some secret miracle card trick in Attorney General Schmidt's back pocket, which other states have failed to produce in defending their bans, this is a foregone conclusion based on controlling precedent.

Which is why the Kansas Supreme Court's hearing is probably a waste of time. But if you want to watch, oral arguments will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday. According to the Courier-Journal, the court advises spectators to arrive at least an hour early and is discouraging folks from bringing backpacks or briefcases.

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