GOP leaders will ask court to reconsider marriage ban

Posted October 16, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014

Same-sex couples continued to marry at the Wake County Courthouse and in Nash Park on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, the first full day that gay marriage was legal in North Carolina.

— Two of North Carolina's top-ranking Republicans will appeal the decision of a judge that overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban, a spokeswoman said Thursday night.

Shelly Carver, a spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, said he and House Speaker Thom Tillis plan to go through with an appeal even though legal experts say it is unlikely to succeed.

The court to which any North Carolina appeal would go would be the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that ruled Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. That was the ruling that led to North Carolina’s ban being overturned as well.

In a statement on Tuesday, Berger pointed to the voters who approved the North Carolina definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. "This decision is an important step to ensure their voice is heard,” he said.

In order for lawmakers to win on appeal, University of North Carolina School of Law professor Maxine Eichner said, “The 4th Circuit would have to reverse its previous decision. There is nothing to suggest that it would plan to do that.”

Lawmakers could ask the Supreme Court for a discretionary review of the case and an emergency stay, but Eichner predicts the Supreme Court will deny both the stay and the review, based on its actions in other recent marriage cases.

"It seems very difficult to imagine that they would accept review after they rejected review of the 4th Circuit decision before,” she said.


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  • miseem Oct 20, 2014

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    Well, since this is only state tax money Tillis and Berger are using, and they expect it will get their based riled up and out to vote to correct this transgression, why wouldn't they? After all, it just amounts to free campaign publicity for Tillis, and if he wins, will get Tillis out of Berger's hair. They don't even need a PAC that claims to be unassociated with the campaign. They can tie this "valiant" effort to preserve the right of majority rule in NC directly to Tillis and not spend a dime of Republican money.

  • erl2609 Oct 20, 2014

    Just let them marry. I mean, this is ridiculous. Quit going back and forth and just let the decision to let them marry stay. It is not the END OF THE WORLD for same sex to marry! Seems to me like a beautiful beginning!

  • iknowjack Oct 20, 2014

    Everybody loved Big Gummint when it's in support of their own pet causes. But only Reepubs are complete hypocrites about it.

  • Sandy Swiger Oct 18, 2014
    user avatar

    A federal district judge struck down Arizona's ban, and the state attorney general said appealing would "waste the taxpayer's money."

    Why do we have to act like "Mayberry" and look like a bunch of fools? It's a LOST CAUSE Berger and Tillis! Total waste of money!

  • Sam Nada Oct 18, 2014
    user avatar

    A September 2014 Elon University Poll survey found that 45.3% of North Carolina residents support same-sex marriage, while 41.8% opposed.

    Tillis and the GOP in NC couldn't care less about the will of the people or the Constitution. Is that who you want in the Senate, or leading NC?

  • Sam Nada Oct 18, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    2014 National poll results on allowing same sex marriage:

    59% in favor
    34% opposed


    A September 2014 Elon University Poll survey found that 45.3% of North Carolina residents support same-sex marriage, while 41.8% opposed.

  • teleman60 Oct 17, 2014

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    Once AGAIN IT'S SAD that you display for the world to see just how clueless you are about the Constitution and how conservatives have enacted laws that VIOLATE the Constitution BUT YOU DON'T KNOW THAT!

    So many conservative voices here STAUNCHLY BELIEVE they have EVERY RIGHT to vote on which Constitutional Rights THEY WISH TO GRANT OTHERS!!

    And these are the people who will vote for Tillis - the guy who ENACTED the Unconstitutional Laws and now spends NC tax dollars fighting against the rulings of EVERY COURT IN America!

  • Pensive01 Oct 17, 2014

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    More likely it's a case of a whole lot of people pointing out the specks in other peoples eye, while ignoring the giant redwood tree in their own.

  • 31575 Oct 17, 2014

    When the will of the people goes against the US Constitution, the people lose. This is not a single judge's determination; it is the opinion of many judges and the SCOTUS. If you don't like our government, it's Constitution, and our laws, go live somewhere else - isn't that what all of you conservatives told us?

  • 31575 Oct 17, 2014

    The Supreme Court of the United States today ruled, not refused to hear, that the appeals from Alaska did not change anything and has allowed SSM to start there. This means that Tillis and Berger are truly wasting our tax dollars. Maybe we should sue them for this wasted money.