Quo Vadis Gay Marriage in Mississippi?

March 2, 2015 § 3 Comments

The MSSC has the gay-marriage issue before it, as does the SCOTUS.

Last Thursday the Mississippi court issued an order calling for more briefing and indicating that it may well stay the Mississippi appeal until the SCOTUS can rule.

You can read the MSSC order in the case of Czekala-Chatham v. State of Miss. for yourself, with objecting opinions, but here is what the court wants briefed:

In light of Mississippi’s public policy of not allowing or recognizing a marriage between two persons of the same gender, what rational basis supports the interpretation or application of a law or constitutional provision so as to prohibit Mississippi courts from granting a divorce to a Mississippi resident who was lawfully married in another state to a person of the same gender?

So, what does this portend?

The only clear indication is in the three objections: Chandler clearly would uphold the Mississippi laws; King and Kitchens would not.

Oh, and the other pretty clear direction in this case is that it apparently will be sidetracked to let the feds decide the issue. Justice King decries that as a dereliction of duty.

It’s an interesting case. Stay tuned.



§ 3 Responses to Quo Vadis Gay Marriage in Mississippi?

  • thusbloggedanderson says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, if the Court just wanted to wait until June & see what SCOTUS does, I don’t understand the need for this order – the Court could just sit on the case for 4 months.

    Perhaps there was some internal pressure from King & Kitchens to go ahead & rule – that certainly is some sort of draft opinion that King issued, not at all what one normally sees in dissent from a procedural order – and the Court’s (secret) IOPs made add’l briefing the best way to get around it?

    Maybe I’m overthinking it, but it seems mysterious to me.

  • reidkrell says:

    Judge, do you think it possible that the MSSC could just say the state lacks the power to intervene in this case and reverse on that ground, punting on the substantive issue?

    • Larry says:

      I think a punt is likely, based on the language in the order to that effect, but I don’t think it will be on the basis that the state lacks the power. I think it will be to defer to SCOTUS since its ruling on the subject will trump whatever MSSC does anyway.

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