Regional
10:43 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Conservative-Leaning Appeals Panel Will Hear Kentucky's Gay Marriage Case

Kentucky’s gay marriage case will go before a GOP-leaning panel next month.  The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is made up of two Republican appointees and one Democratic. 

Appellate judges Jeffrey Sutton and Deborah Cook were appointed by President George W. Bush.  The Courier-Journal reports Sutton’s nomination was adamantly opposed by liberal groups.  In March, he wrote in Harvard Law Review “Count me as a skeptic when it comes to the idea that this day and age suffers from a shortage of constitutional rights.” 

The other judge considering Kentucky’s case is Martha Craig Daughtrey, appointed by President Bill Clinton. 

Legal experts are quick to note that district judges from both parties have struck down gay marriage bans.  And Sutton, whose nomination was so fiercely opposed by liberals, wrote the first federal appeals court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. 

Lawyers for Governor Beshear are asking the appeals court to reverse rulings from U.S. District Judge John Heyburn that Kentucky must recognize out-of-state gay marriages and allow them to be performed in Kentucky. 

The same panel on August 6 will take up similar cases from Tennessee, Ohio, and Michigan.