Friday, October 18, 2013
More big news out of New Jersey today. Wednesday night Cory Booker made history by becoming only the fourth black man to ever been elected to the Senate (one went on to become our President of the United States!) Today's big news is that New Jersey will become the 14th marriage equality state on Monday because the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously denied Governor Chris Christie's motion for a stay to delay implementation of a lower court ruling that said the state must start issuing marriage licenses October 21. The New Jersey Supreme Court had earlier decided to hear the appeal of the lower court decision and the current skirmish was over whether the ruling would go into effect prior to its ratification or nullification by the state's highest court. The fact that the Court left the ruling go into effect would seem to signal they will uphold the ruling. And even if they don't there is a pending vote in the New Jersey legislature to override Christie's veto of a marriage equality bill.
The Court allowed marriage equality to begin in New Jersey by saying:
A spokesperson for Governor Christie has issued a statement saying "The Supreme Court has made its determination. While the governor firmly believes that this determination should be made by all the people of the state of New Jersey, he has instructed the Department of Health to cooperate with all municipalities in effectuating the order of the Superior Court under the applicable law."
New Jersey may not even be the last state this year to enact marriage equality. Hawaii has a special session of the legislature starting on Monday October 28th in order to consider a marriage equality bill and Illinois also still has a pending bill which has passed the State Senate and is stalled in the House (and there's a pending lawsuit). The New Mexico State Supreme court will hear oral arguments to determine whether every county has to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples next Wednesday October 23.