State seeks emergency stay from Arkansas Supreme Court in birth certificate case | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 7, 2017

State seeks emergency stay from Arkansas Supreme Court in birth certificate case

Posted By on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 6:39 AM

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge went to court late yesterday to get the state Supreme Court to halt mediation ordered by Circuit Judge Tim Fox in the case over issuing birth certificates to same-sex parents.

It's settled that the state has discriminated against same-sex parents and they should be issued birth certificates in the same manner as opposite-sex couples. The question now is what to do. A legislative fix would be nice, but so far isn't in the offing. The Supreme Court, in a split decision, has said judges can't write a fix into the law, except by deleting some words.  Fox said later that the Supreme Court was wrong and ordered mediation. He also ordered Rutledge to participate, something her office is fighting along with ordered mediation.

Her office wrote in part yesterday in seeking a stop to the mediation, with a session set Saturday:

The only permissible outcome of the mediation (in Judge Fox's view) is an agreed order which would circumvent the ruling of this Court with which Judge Fox disagrees. If the parties fail to submit such an order, Judge Fox has made clear that he wilt enjoin Defendant from issuing birth certificates to anvone.
Further, raising serious separation of powers concerns, Judge Fox has also ordered the Attomey General, a state constitutional officer, to personally participate in this mediation. This Court has the authority to issue an extraordinary writ to correct these errors and should do so forthwith.l
The Supreme Court has called down Fox before on other issues. Rutledge may have another ripe opportunity.

Here's the state's motion.


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