Main | Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ALABAMA: Federal Judge Clarifies Ruling, All Counties Must Issue Licenses

Federal Judge Granade today clarified her ruling from last Friday, stipulating that it does indeed apply to all Alabama counties.
A representative of the APJA reportedly stated that this court’s decision was limited to the same-sex couple that filed the case and that the only party who was enjoined from enforcing the laws in question was Attorney General Strange. Because the court has entered a stay of the Judgment in this case, neither the named Defendant, nor the Probate Courts in Alabama are currently required to follow or uphold the Judgment. However, if the stay is lifted, the Judgment in this case makes it clear that ALA. CONST. ART.I, § 36.03 and ALA.CODE § 30-1-19 are unconstitutional because they violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Granade's clarification cites federal Judge Robert Hinkle's similar ruling in Florida.
History records no shortage of instances when state officials defied federal court orders on issues of federal constitutional law. Happily, there are many more instances when responsible officials followed the law, like it or not. Reasonable people can debate whether the ruling in this case was correct and who it binds. here should be no debate, however, on the question whether a clerk of court may follow the ruling, even for marriage-license applicants who are not parties to this case. And a clerk who chooses not to follow the ruling should take note: the governing statutes and rules of procedure allow individuals to intervene as plaintiffs in pending actions, allow certification of plaintiff and defendant classes, allow issuance of successive preliminary injunctions, and allow successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorney's fees.
BOOM. Pending a stay from the Eleventh Circuit Court, marriages will commence on Monday, February 9th upon the expiration of Granade's stay. (Tipped by JMG reader TJ)

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