Tuesday, May 13, 2014

4th U.S. Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in VA Marriage Equality Case

Today the 4th U.S. Circuit heard oral arguments in Bostic v. Schaefer (previously Bostic v. Rainey) which is better known as Virginia's marriage equality case. This past February a federal judge struck down Virginia's ban on marriage equality and today's oral arguments were the appellate circuit level appeal of this decision.

You can hear the audio of the oral arguments yourself at this link. The three judges on the panel are Paul Niemeyer (Appointed by President George H.W. Bush), Roger Gregory (Nominated by President Bill Clinton and then George W. Bush),  and Henry Floyd (Nominated by President Obama). The lawyers conducting the argument for the side of marriage equality were Ted Olson (on behalf of American Foundation for Equal Rights), James Esseks (on behalf of the ACLU) and Stuart Raphael (Virginia's Solicitor General).

Most observers seem to think that the panel will split 2-1 in favor of upholding the lower-court ruling, which would then be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which could decide whether it wants to use this case to decide the question of marriage equality squarely in 2015 or let marriage equality go into effect in the 4th Circuit (Virginia, South Carolina, West Virginia and North Carolina).

Hat/tip to Equality on Trial

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