Waiting for equality: Couples look to the Arkansas Supreme Court | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 29, 2014

Waiting for equality: Couples look to the Arkansas Supreme Court

Posted By on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 6:51 AM

Nov. 20, a federal judge and the Arkansas Supreme Court heard separate arguments on whether the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. 

On Nov. 25, federal Judge Kristine Baker struck down the ban, but stayed her ruling pending a state appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  Almost six weeks after their own oral arguments, the Arkansas Supreme Court has yet to be heard from on the separate state court challenge.

The Court is on its Christmas break. But state employees will be at work this week, except for New Year's Day. An opinion by the court could be issued at any time.

The approach of the end of the year is important for many reasons. Should the Supreme Court uphold Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling, it would clarify the marital status of about 500 couples who married in the week following his ruling but before the Supreme Court stayed it  for the appeal. It also could allow untold other couples to marry in Arkansas before the end of 2014 and thus potentially qualify for tax and other benefits that accrue to legally married couples.

Also important as to timing: Justice Donald Corbin retires effective Jan. 1. Robin Wynne replaces him that day. If no decision is reached before Jan. 1, Wynne will cast a vote in the case rather than Corbin. Nobody has yet said how that process would work and how much time would be added before an eventual decision.

Why the delay? Theories abound, mostly related to internal friction on the court. Officially, there is no word.

Will a decision come this week?

Who knows?

The old saying about justice delayed seems to apply.

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016
  • Civil War over in Fort Smith; lawyer strikes his Rebel mascot battle tent

    KSFM reports that Joey McCutchen, the lawyer who's been trying to restart the Civil War in Fort Smith over the School Board's decision to drop the Rebel mascot and related trappingsfor Southside High School, is dropping his School Board takeover campaign.
    • May 27, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation