Thursday, November 8, 2012

In the courts: Nevada

Nevada ImagesMost of you know that the Prop 8 and DOMA cases are scheduled for a Supreme Court conference on November 20. The court might decide which cases they will hear or won't hear.

With little attention, Sevcik v. Sandoval is moving its way through federal court in Nevada via Lambda Legal. This is an extremely important case because it argues that Nevada’s constitutional ban on marriage equality violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Oral arguments were originally scheduled for November 26 but that order was vacated by Judge Robert Clive Jones of the United States District Court for Nevada. The remaining schedule is unclear.

Judge Jones has served as a Mormon bishop and was appointed by GW Bush. He has been openly critical of Judge Vaughn Walker's decision in the Proposition 8 case and skeptical of the plaintiffs' arguments in this case.

I think that the strategy is to assume defeat at trial, create a thorough record and then to expeditiously move the matter to the friendlier 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Given the importance of this case it is probably headed to the Supreme Court, perhaps in the 2013-2014 session.
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