Monday, March 14, 2016

Gay Marriage Constitutional Crisis?

There is a little bit of confusion about what Alabama is up to in its response to Obergefell v Hodges, the US Supreme Court decision that affirms the right of people of the same sex to marry.  According to Liberty Counsel, the Alabama Supreme Court did reject the US Supreme court decsion.  Other sources indicate the opposite.  I tried to sort to get my legal brain trust to sort it out.  Professor Samuel Brunson wrote me
Basically, this appears to be a procedural decision, dismissing requested clarification as moot. The various concurring opinions seem largely directed at knocking down CJ Moore’s attempt to declare, somehow, that Obergefell was unconstitutional (which is an amusing, if a bit terrifying, read).
Professor Adam Chodorow on the other hand wrote me
The only thing I can come up with is that they take the position that the SCT has not ruled directly on AL law. It is a specious argument. Otherwise, I think you are right that they are refusing to follow the Constitution, as construed by the SCT. That would be a constitutional crisis. That said, the lack of attention to this suggests there may be something out there that we’re missing.
Or perhaps the government is approaching this like they did the Oregon wildlife crisis. They avoid a direct confrontation up front but work to get to the right result.
So we will get to see in the coming months whether we are going to have a constituional crisis over gay marriage.

Also I will now add to my list of jobs that I am glad I do not have (e.g. emergency room physician, company commander, roofer) probate judge in Alabama, since I would then have to actually figure this out.
Peter J Reilly CPA hopes to be the first tax blogger to give up his day job. He hoped to work this into a tax post on, but could not make it fit.

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