Thursday, June 09, 2016

District Court Again Enjoins Enforcement of Alabama's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

In Strawser v. Strange, (SD AL, June 7, 2016), an Alabama federal district court, noting actions by the Alabama judiciary seeking to defy the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell decision, issued a permanent injunction barring the enforcement of Alabama’s laws that bar same-sex marriage.  Rejecting defendants' assertion that the claim against them is moot, the court said:
Although Attorney General Strange is already subject to a permanent injunction from another case in this Court, Searcy v. Strange, ... the other Defendants in this case are not subject to that injunction and the Plaintiffs in this case lack standing to enforce the Searcy injunction. It is also apparent that certain Alabama state courts do not view this Court’s ruling in Searcy as binding precedent....
The Court notes that the Supreme Court of Alabama denied the pending mandamus petitions and entered judgment in Ex parte State of Alabama ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute.... However, the Alabama Supreme Court did not vacate or set aside its earlier writ of mandamus directing Alabama’s probate judges to comply with the Alabama laws that were held unconstitutional by this Court.... Chief Justice Moore also stated that the Eleventh Circuit’s finding that the Alabama Supreme Court's order was abrogated by the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell “is plainly wrong.”...
This Court is aware that Chief Justice Moore is currently suspended from his position and is facing charges before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. However, even if Chief Justice Moore is not reinstated to his position as Chief Justice, the concurring opinions of several other Alabama Supreme Court Justices also expressed disagreement with Obergefell.... It is clear that the decision by the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell does not provide certainty that the alleged violations will not recur.
A press release from Americans United has more on the decision.