Tags: Gay Marriage | 9th Circuit | gay | same-sex marriage | Coalition for the Protection of Marriage

Coalition Appeals for 9th Circuit Rehearing Gay Rights Cases

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 02:48 PM

A group opposed to same-sex marriage has filed a legal challenge to recent rulings opposing voter-approved bans in two states, The New York Times reports.

The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, in an appeal filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, is asking for a full panel of judges to rehear cases from Nevada and Idaho, where they contend two of the judges on the three-person panel — among 29 judges in the circuit — had served on a number of gay rights cases, the Times noted.

The group says a rehearing of the case would serve to "cure the appearance" that the judges assigned to the cases were "not the result of a random or otherwise neutral selection process," the Times noted of the appeal.

One attorney representing plaintiffs in the case described the bias allegation by the coalition as a "conspiracy theory."

“Holding a losing hand does not mean that the deck has been stacked. This conspiracy theory is frivolous and sad, and it reeks of desperation," Lambda Legal attorney Peter Renn told the Times. "It is embarrassing that the other side has stooped to attacking the integrity of our federal judiciary, rather than accept their loss with an ounce of grace.”

According to the Times, the 9th Circuit has heard 11 cases involving gay rights since 2010. Of the three mentioned in the appeal, one judge had heard five cases and another four.

A review by statistician James H. Matis found the odds of two judges out of 29 hearing that number of gay rights cases was 441-1, The Wall Street Journal noted.

A court administrator told the Journal that the seating of judges on cases was a "randomized system" and she defended against any charge of bias.

The coalition, however, said their concerns are not without merit, the Journal noted. “The sensitivity of raising uncomfortable questions for this Circuit must be balanced against the interests of ordinary Nevadans, who deserve a fair hearing before a novel interpretation of constitutional law deprives them of the right to control the meaning of marriage within their State,” the coalition asserts in its petition.

A recent ruling out of the 6th Circuit upholding laws supporting gay marriage bans will likely send the issue back to the U.S. Supreme Court, The Washington Post reported. The 6th Circuit decision covers voter-approved bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

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A group opposed to same-sex marriage has filed a legal challenge to recent rulings opposing voter-approved bans in two states, The New York Times reports.
9th Circuit, gay, same-sex marriage, Coalition for the Protection of Marriage
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2014-48-11
Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 02:48 PM
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