Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Latta v. Otter (9th Cir. - Oct. 7, 2014)

I'm sure that it's a total coincidence that the Ninth Circuit issued this opinion, which strikes down the same-sex marriage bans of Idaho and Nevada, the day after the Supreme Court refused to review the many other pending same-sex marriage cases.

Yep.  Total coincidence.

Judge Reinhardt authors a unanimous, 34-page opinion telling us what everyone in the universe already knew full well: that the Ninth Circuit (and especially the panel of Judges Reinhardt, Gould and Berzon) was indeed striking down the same-sex marriage bans.  It's nonetheless still an opinion worth reading.  Very well-written, as always.

Judge Reinhardt also authors a concurring opinion that says that the same-sex marriage bans should also be invalidated on substantive due process grounds as well.  Judge Berzon also authors a different concurring opinion that says that these bans are also invalid classifications on the basis of gender.

So the only real dispute in the Ninth Circuit is how many different ways these statutes are going to be struck down.