Alabama: Federal Judge “Clarifies” – Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Applies To ALL Counties

When Federal Judge Granade ruled that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, the Alabama Probate Judge’s Association (probate judges issue marriage licenses in the state) issued an “opinion” that the ruling only applied to the plaintiffs in the case – not the entire state.

Plaintiffs ask for clarification from judge; plaintiffs get clarification from judge.

And it’s exactly what we expected. Judge Granade doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

From Judge Granade’s Clarifying Judgement today:

“Because the court has entered a stay of the Judgment in this case, neither the named Defendant, nor the Probate Courts in Alabama are currently required to follow or uphold the Judgment. However, if the stay is lifted, the Judgment in this case makes it clear that ALA. CONST. ART.I, § 36.03 and ALA.CODE § 30-1-19 are unconstitutional because they violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

[snip]

“A clerk who chooses not to follow the ruling should take note: the governing statutes and rules of procedure allow individuals to intervene as plaintiffs in pending actions, allow certification of plaintiff and defendant classes, allow issuance of successive preliminary injunctions, and allow successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorney’s fees.”

Should the 11th Circuit Court not issue an extended stay on the ruling, the current stay placed on the ruling by Judge Granade will expire and marriage equality will begin in Alabama on February 9th.

You can read the clarification below:

Alabama: Judge Reverses Course And Issues 14-Day Stay On Marriage Ruling

Late Sunday evening, U.S. District Judge Callie V. Granade issued a 14-day stay on her Friday ruling which struck down Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban down the state’s gay marriage ban, just hours before it went into effect.

From WIAT in Birmingham, Alabama:

The court’s ruling states that Attorney General Luther Strange (pictured) has not shown enough cause for an indefinite stay, but is allowing the Attorney General time to present his arguments to the Eleventh Circuit Court.

If the Eleventh Circuit Court fails to act during the 14-day delay, the order will be lifted February 9th.

So now, the Attorney General heads to the 11th Circuit Court (which has not addressed same-sex marriage yet) to ask for a longer or indefinite stay. Attorney General Luther Strange issued a statement saying he would have preferred to wait until SCOTUS ruled on the issue this summer, but will now have time to prepare a request to the 11th Circuit.

Amid all this, the Alabama Probate Judges Association has also thrown it’s own wrench into marriage equality by issuing an “opinion” that the ruling only refers to the plaintiffs and not state wide.

The plaintiffs have now asked Judge Granade to clarify as to the scope of the ruling in response to the Probate Judges Association.

Sen. Jeff Sessions Enthusiastically Endorsed Judge Who Struck Down Marriage Ban

With great sense of irony, we take a trip in the Way Back machine to 2002, where anti-gay Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), enthusiastically endorsed the nomination of Judge Granade who last Friday overturned his state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“I thank the Senator from Nevada for his courtesy. I will speak about Callie–known as Ginny–Granade, who will be voted on shortly for the U.S. district judgeship for the southern district of Alabama. Ginny Granade is a nominee of the highest order. President Bush has nominated her to be the judge in the southern district of Alabama. She has the temperament, integrity, legal knowledge, and experience that will make her an outstanding jurist on the Federal bench. I know this from firsthand experience. Ginny is levelheaded, fair minded, trustworthy, and very smart.

“I suggest in the filling of this vacancy with Ginny Granade as a Federal judge, we are going to have done a good day’s work. Her experience and practice make me confident that the lawyers and the litigants in the Southern District of Alabama will enjoy and appreciate their opportunity to be in the courtroom she will control and preside over.”

Just delicious…

(via JMG)