5th Circuit to hear appeals in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas marriage rulings

John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans, home of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Staff Reports

A federal appeals court in New Orleans will hear arguments Friday in challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans,   home of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans, home of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Arguments will be before a three judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; the panel consists of Reagan appointees Patrick E. Higginbotham and Jerrry E. Smith and Obama appointee James E. Graves.

The case before the court are:

LOUISIANA

In the Louisiana case (Robicheaux v. George, combined with Forum for Equality Louisiana v. Barfield), U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman upheld the state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.

His Sept. 3 ruling was the first to uphold a state ban since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

Also Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court will conference on whether to hear arguments in the Louisiana case, along with appeals from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee where those state’s same-sex marriage bans were upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In November, attorneys for gay rights groups Lambda Legal and Forum for Equality Louisiana asked the Supreme Court to take the rare step of reviewing Louisiana’s case ahead of the 5th Circuit’s arguments.

MISSISSIPPI

The Mississippi case (Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant), was brought by two same-sex couples and a gay-rights group, Campaign for Southern Equality, who sued the state over the state’s 1997 law and 2004 voter-approved constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves declared the ban unconstitutional in a Nov. 25, 2014, ruling.

TEXAS

The Texas case (DeLeon v. Perry) was filed in 2013 by two same-sex couples challenging the state’s same-sex marriage bans. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia declared the ban unconstitutional in February 2014. The ruling has been on hold ever since.

Each side in each of the three cases will be allocated 30 minutes, for a total of approximately 3 hours of arguments.

Arguments are due to start at 9 a.m. CST, and audo recordings are expected to be posted on the court’s website by the end of the day.

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