Thursday, June 29, 2017

No Taxpayer Standing To Challenge North Carolina Conscience Law Excusing Magistrates From Performing Marriages

In Ansley v. Warren, (4th Cir., June 28, 2017), the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed on standing grounds an Establishment Clause challenge to North Carolina's Senate Bill 2 which allows state magistrates who have religious objections to same-sex marriage to recuse themselves from performing all marriages.  (See prior posting.)  The court said in part:
The outcome here is in no way a comment on same-sex marriage as a matter of social policy. The case before us is far more technical—whether plaintiffs, simply by virtue of their status as state taxpayers, have alleged a personal, particularized injury for the purposes of Article III standing. Based on a century of Supreme Court precedent, we conclude that they have not.
Asheville Citizen-Times reports on the decision.