Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kansas Federal District Court Implements Obergefell Holding

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court decided in the Obergefell case that same-sex marriages must be recognized, lower courts still need to tie up loose to make the ruling effective nationwide.  In Marie v. Mosier, (D. KA, Aug. 10, 2015), a Kansas federal district court issued a declaratory judgment that Kansas’ same-sex marriage laws (and related policies) violate the Constitution and thus are void. However in light of claims by Kansas officials that the state is voluntarily complying with the Obergefell holding, the court delayed issuing a permanent injunction to determine whether the issue is moot, saying:
In the Court’s view, the prudent course of action is to let defendants finish updating their policies and practices to conform to Obergefell’s new rule of constitutional law. The Court thus defers, for now, the portion of plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion seeking injunctive relief. Should subsequent events reveal that the Court’s hopefulness about Kansas officials’ pledge to comply with Obergefell is misplaced, plaintiffs may supplement their motion for summary judgment on their claims for injunctive relief...
SCOTUSblog discusses the opinion.