Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Aug. 6 Hearing FAQ

What cases are presenting oral arguments on August 6th?

Bourke v. Beshear (KY), consolidated with Love v. Bashear (KY), the state of Kentucky is appealing district court orders declaring unconstitutional Kentucky’s prohibition against recognizing valid out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples and its prohibition against marriage for same-sex couples in Kentucky.

DeBoer v. Snyder, (MI) The state of Michigan is appealing the decision issued on March 21st, where a federal judge struck down the marriage ban for same-sex couples in Michigan. The next day, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay in the decision while the case proceeds.

Henry v. Himes (OH), consolidated with Obergefell v. Himes(OH), the state of Ohio is appealing two decisions. In Obergefell, a federal court ruled that the state of Ohio must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states for the purpose of listing surviving spouses on death certificates. In Henry, a federal court ordered the state to recognize out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples and issue accurate birth certificates for children born to or adopted by married same-sex couples.

Tanco v. Haslam (TN) The state of Tennessee is appealing a federal court ruling that ordered state officials to respect the out of state marriages of three same-sex couples. In April, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the request to stay as the case proceeds.

Will these cases be heard all at once?

No, each case will have designated times for oral arguments. The current order of argument posted by the Court has the Michigan case first, followed by the Ohio cases, then the Kentucky cases, and finally the Tennessee case.

Will any of these cases be heard by the Supreme Court?

It’s possible, but it depends on a variety of factors – there could be further consolidation of some of these court cases and there are other cases working their way through federal circuit courts that could be heard by the Supreme Court first. We now have affirmative decisions from two other Circuit Courts – the Tenth and the Fourth circuits, which both struck down marriage bans.

Who will be at the court house on August 6th?

Attorneys as well as plaintiff couples from each case will be at the hearing. There will be interview availability after the court proceedings at the Hayes Room on the third floor of the Westin Hotel, 21 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

Will these cases all be heard by the same judges?

Yes, a single panel of Sixth Circuit judges will hear these cases on Aug. 6, 2014. The judges on the panel are Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton , and Judge Deborah L. Cook.

When will the judges rule?

The judges are not expected to rule from the bench. Federal appellate courts typically do not announce their decisions until several weeks after oral argument, sometimes longer.