Marriage plaintiffs object to stay of Piazza's ruling | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 16, 2014

Marriage plaintiffs object to stay of Piazza's ruling

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 1:40 PM

The deadline is 2 p.m. for arguments on whether the Arkansas Supreme Court will stay Judge Chris Piazza's marriage equality ruling. I think the court's decision to move up the deadline from Monday to 2 p.m. on five hours' notice indicates their minds are made up to stay the ruling. But plaintiffs in the lawsuit are taking their licks at keeping the order in effect.

The state must show both a likelihood of success and irreparable harm to win a stay, attorneys Jack Wagoner and Cheryl Maples argue. The plaintiffs naturally think the facts favor them on prevailing. But what harm does the state suffer in continuing to allow people to marry? The pleading says the New Jersey Supreme Court rejected a stay in a similar case because the state could make no showing of tangible harm and that the only damage was to plaintiffs. They continued to be denied equal protection under the law.

At a minimum, the court should do a substantive evaluation before denying a stay, the attorneys argue. It quotes Judge Piazza, who denied a stay because he said it would further damage plaintiffs. The attorneys also dismiss the state's "confusion" argument. Piazza was clear. Counties should issue licenses. Any harm from an ultimate reversal would not be to defendants. Speculation about potential future confusion is not a tangible harm, the New Jersey court held.

The confusion lies more with the plaintiffs, they say. With a stay, plaintiffs will "again be forced to navigate a complex, bewildering and ever-shifting terrain of uncertainty as to whether they will be respected as a legally married couple by particular federal agencies, private employers, businesses and particular state and local governmental actors. For such couples, the notion that maintaining this untenable and chaotic 'status quo' will somehow insulate them from uncertainty and confusion has no basis in reality."

If the court order is stayed, the pleading notes, what happens concerning the University of Arkansas's recent decision to cover same-sex spouses on benefit plans? Will they be deprived of this "critical protection," the pleading wonders.

Every court case since the U.S. Supreme Court Windsor ruling has been decided on behalf of plaintiffs, the brief notes. The public has no interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws, it said.

Jason Rapert not included, of course.

Tags: , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Recounts set in two Benton County legislative races

    KFSM reports that the Benton County Election Commission will recount votes today in two squeaky state House races where incumbents are currently on top by scant margins.
    • May 24, 2018
  • Dirty judicial campaigning: A winning target has more to say

    Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Bart Virden of Morrilton, who narrowly survived attack ads by an outside partisan group supporting his opponent for re-election to a nonpartisan seat, doesn't intend to let the matter drop.
    • May 24, 2018
  • UA puts goats to work

    The University of Arkansas is falling back on a time-tested idea for clearing underbrush. Bleat.
    • May 24, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016
  • Latest Obamacare repeal bill would hit Arkansas treasury hard

    The latest effort to undo Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy legislation, would shift federal support for health coverage to a block grant system to the states. Bad news for Arkansas.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • The inspiring Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's campaign for president illustrates again the double standard applied to women. Some writers get it. They even find the supposedly unlikable Clinton inspiring.
    • Oct 16, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation