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[ATG] State files reply brief in 7th Circuit in marriage appeal
Start Date: 8/11/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 8/11/2014
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Today the State of Indiana filed its reply brief in the consolidated appeal of the legal challenge to Indiana’s marriage-definition statute, Baskin et al. v. Bogan et al.  The State’s brief asks the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse and vacate the June 25 decision of the U.S. District Court that invalidated Indiana’s statute, and to recognize Indiana’s right to define marriage by current law.

As the lawyer for state government, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office has a legal duty to defend the laws that the people’s elected representatives in the Legislature pass from lawsuits plaintiffs’ lawyers file, both in the trial court and on appeal.  Today’s is the final brief filed in the 7th Circuit prior to oral argument.

“Now that briefing is completed, this case will hopefully move at a rapid pace for a ruling by the 7th Circuit and all sides will be one step closer to the day when the legal issue will be decided nationally, with finality.  It is important we achieve some guidance on the critical question of whether individual states can exercise legislative authority in the regulation and licensing of marriage.  This statute is something that my office as Indiana’s lawyer must defend in order for the courts to hear the case and provide the legal answer to this important question,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. 

Litigation costs of defending the Indiana statute under the duty to defend are covered by the Attorney General’s Office’s regular office budget, approved by the Legislature in advance, using a salaried attorney who does not charge billable hours. Solicitor General Thomas M. Fisher is the AG’s Office’s lawyer representing the state defendants in the consolidated lawsuit.  Indiana is not using outside counsel to defend its statute. Also named in the lawsuit and seeking appeal are the county clerks of Boone County and Allen County, represented by their own attorneys. 

The Baskin case is consolidated with Wisconsin’s appeal of a marriage challenge in that state, and the case will be heard in oral arguments August 26 before a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit.

Although it does not represent county clerks directly, the Attorney General’s Office will provide updates to the county clerks in the 92 counties regarding legal developments in the marriage case so they have clear guidance regarding marriage license requirements.  The June 25 ruling of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young remains under a stay ordered by the 7th Circuit on June 27, meaning county clerks must continue to observe the requirements of Indiana’s marriage license statute until further notice.

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Entry Type:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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