Main | Monday, March 10, 2014

VIRGINIA: Fourth Circuit Grants AFER Request For Expedited Marriage Hearing

Via press release from AFER:
On Monday, March 10, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit granted AFER’s proposed motion for an expedited briefing schedule in Virginia’s marriage equality case, Bostic v. Schaefer (formerly Bostic v. Rainey). On February 13, 2014, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in Bostic v. Rainey that laws prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying in the Commonwealth are unconstitutional as they violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. AFER is the sole sponsor of the Bostic case, and the ruling is the first of its kind in the American South. Defendants-Appellants’ opening briefs in Bostic v. Schaefer are due March 28th, and Plaintiffs-Appellees’ reply is due April 11th. Oral arguments have been tentatively scheduled for the week of May 12. The Court also granted the plaintiffs in a parallel case, Harris v. Rainey, permission to intervene on the side of plaintiffs in Bostic v. Schaefer.
But who will get to SCOTUS first?

UPDATE:  Lambda Legal on joining the case.
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit granted the motion to intervene in Bostic v. Rainey that had been filed by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia on behalf of a class of all Virginia's same-sex couples. The class is simultaneously challenging the state's marriage ban in its own case, Harris v. Rainey. "We are pleased the court granted our motion to intervene because the Bostic appeal could decide the fate of not only both couples involved, but also the entire class of more than 14,000 same-sex couples in Virginia whom we represent," said Greg Nevins, Counsel in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. "We are still waiting for a decision in the Harris case, but allowing the Harris class to intervene in the Bostic case allows the two cases to be consolidated on appeal without delaying or disrupting either case. We want the freedom to marry to come to lesbians and gay men in Virginia as swiftly as possible." "We're thrilled that all of Virginia's same-sex couples will be before the court of appeals together, arguing for the freedom to marry and bringing their many compelling stories to the common cause," said Joshua Block, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project."

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