Main | Saturday, November 23, 2013

PENNSYLVANIA: Marriage Trial Date Set

The Associated Press reports:
A federal judge Friday set June 9 as the trial date for a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's gay-marriage ban after rejecting a request to delay the proceeding. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III also set a timetable for pre-trial motions and other paperwork to be filed before the trial at the federal courthouse in Harrisburg. Jones said a defense request to delay the trial until August would be unnecessary. "I'm an optimist by nature," he said. Pennsylvania is the only northeastern state that bars same-sex marriage. Nationally, Illinois this week joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing it. State Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat who took office in January, has refused to defend the law in court, saying it violates the state and federal constitutions.
This is the case brought by the ACLU.  Several other Pennsylvania marriage suits are working their way through the state and federal systems. For the ACLU case, Gov. Tom Corbett has hired former state Supreme Court Justice William Lamb to defend the state since the Attorney General has refused. Lamb will earn $400/hour and his associates will all bill the state at $325/hour.

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Last month Corbett filed a brief claiming that he is exempt from being named in the ACLU's suit. Three days before that he compared same-sex marriage to incest during an interview with a Harrisburg television station. In August he filed an ultimately successful suit to halt the issuing of marriage licenses by Montgomery County Clerk Bruce Hanes.

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