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New Alaska attorney general to review same-sex marriage appeal

Thursday, December 4, 2014
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JUNEAU, Alaska — Craig Richards, Alaska’s new attorney general, says he will review litigation over same-sex marriage in the state strictly along constitutional lines.

Richards, 39, is the former law partner of Gov. Bill Walker, who defeated Parnell and took office Monday.

As a gubernatorial candidate, Walker said he wouldn’t pursue costly litigation with little chance of success, even though he personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Richards said he understands the issues from the state’s perspective. But he had not had an opportunity to look at it from the federal constitutional perspective, including how courts have interpreted the application of equal protection and due process clauses to same-sex marriage.

Last month, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the state’s request that an 11-judge panel review the district court decision that found the state’s ban unconstitutional.

The state could appeal again to the federal court or to the U.S. Supreme Court. The state has spent more than $100,000 defending the ban.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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