AG Schuette Files Brief Defending Michigan Gay Marriage Ban
LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking a federal appeals court to uphold the state’s 2004 voter-approved gay marriage ban.
In a brief filed Wednesday with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Schuette suggested judges come to the same finding as the U.S. Supreme Court on Michigan’s affirmative action ban.
The high court recently ruled that Michigan voters had the right to prevent universities from using affirmative action in admissions decisions.
Schuette says the same should hold true in the same-sex marriage case.
“Both issues were voted on by residents of Michigan, and voters overwhelmingly said no to both,” explained Legal Analyst Charlie Langton.
Michigan’s ban on gay marriage was declared unconstitutional in March by Detroit federal Judge Bernard Friedman. Hundreds of couples were married before the appeals court suspended the ruling a day later.
The difference between the two issues: In his opinion on the gay marriage ban, Friedman ruled that voters cannot vote on issues that violate the Constitution.
Langton said he believes Friedman’s ruling will be affirmed for that reason.
“I think that voters cannot vote on just anything. We can’t vote to legalize murder, for example…certain things that violate the Constitution,
Langton said. “And I think that the same-sex marriage (ban) violates the Constitution: equal protect, etc., like the judge ruled, like so many courts have ruled…Although voters should be given some deference, not on every issue.”
The plaintiffs have until June 9 to file a response to Schuette’s brief.
Langton said he expects the case to go to the Supreme Court.
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