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[ATG] U.S. Supreme Court to hear important marriage definition cases
Start Date: 12/7/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 12/7/2012
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – The United States Supreme Court on Friday announced it will hear two cases involving the legal definition of marriage, including the important Proposition 8 appeal that the State of Indiana and 14 other states in an amicus brief had urged the Court to hear.


After conferencing Friday to determine which cases it will accept in the current term, the Supreme Court announced it will hear the Hollingsworth v. Perry case next spring along with another case related to legal recognition of marriage and associated benefits.


“With all due respect to those who have called for a truce from conflict on social issues, this is a legal question of central importance in our nation that only the United States Supreme Court can evaluate and determine with finality. We contend the people of each state – either through their elected legislators or directly by referendum – should have the authority to define marriage within their state, and Indiana stands firm in its vigorous defense of each state’s legal authority to recognize the traditional definition of marriage as a significant state interest,”  Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. As legal counsel for the State of Indiana, Zoeller’s office had co-authored an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to take the case.


Hollingsworth v. Perry is an appeal of a ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that had found California’s marriage definition unconstitutional. Voters in California had approved a referendum, Proposition 8, that defined marriage in that state as between one man and one woman. The referendum was challenged by opponents. Referendum supporters are appealing the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and asking the Supreme Court to reinstate the Proposition 8 traditional marriage definition in California. The Ninth Circuit ruling has been stayed on appeal.


On August 31, an amicus brief co-authored by Indiana, Michigan and Virginia and joined by 12 other states was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the Court to grant cert (accept the case for hearing) and reverse the Ninth Circuit. Though not plaintiffs or defendants in case, the 15 states asserted their similar legal interests raised by the California case.


Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Hollingsworth v. Perry and a related case, Zoeller said his office will monitor the cases as the litigants and outside interested parties file legal briefs. Indiana Solicitor General Thomas M. Fisher co-authored the earlier amicus brief the states filed on the cert petition and it is likely that Indiana will participate in some way in another amicus brief to be filed on the merits of the case, Zoeller said.


In addition to the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear another case, U.S. v. Windsor, relating to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which prohibits extending certain federal benefits of marriage to same-sex unions. The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral argument in both cases next spring and rule by June 2013.



Location Information:
State House

Contact Information:
Name: Bryan Corbin
Phone: 317.233.3970
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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