The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has announced that it will hear oral arguments in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant on January 9th.
“We are very pleased that the United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has agreed to expedite the appeal of Judge Reeves’ ruling. This means that the voices of gay of Mississippians will be heard when the Fifth Circuit takes up the issue of the equal protection and due process rights of gay people. We look forward to presenting our arguments to the Fifth Circuit,” says Roberta Kaplan, lead counsel in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant.
Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant will be heard by the same Fifth Circuit panel of judges as the De Leon and Robicheaux cases from Texas and Louisiana, respectively. The motion to expedite the appeal can be downloaded at: https://southernequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Order-re-Expedite-Appeal.pdf
Today the court also granted the State of Mississippi’s motion for a stay of the preliminary injunction issued by Judge Reeves in his November 25th ruling.
Kaplan adds, “Our clients and other gay couples throughout Mississippi are of course disappointed that the Fifth Circuit extended the stay of Judge Reeves’ ruling. However, we are confident that the Fifth Circuit will affirm Judge Reeves’ opinion so that marriages can begin in Mississippi as soon as possible.”
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals released a briefing schedule for the hearing. The brief by the defense (State of Mississippi) will be due on December 19, 2014; the brief from the plaintiffs will be due on December 24, 2014, and the State of Mississippi’s reply brief will be due on January 2, 2015.
The full briefing schedule is available at: https://southernequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Fifth-Circuit-Briefing-Schedule.pdf
Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant challenges the constitutionality of marriage laws in Mississippi that ban marriage between same-sex couples and deny recognition of same-sex marriages performed out-of-state. The lawsuit was filed on October 20, 2014, on behalf of two same-sex couples – Andrea Sanders and Rebecca Bickett, and Jocelyn Pritchett and Carla Webb – and the Campaign for Southern Equality, which represents its members across Mississippi.
An estimated 3,484 same-sex couples live across Mississippi, with 26 percent of them raising children. The plaintiff couples are both parents to young children.
Lead counsel for the plaintiffs is Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Plaintiffs are also represented by Robert McDuff of McDuff & Byrd, based in Jackson, Mississippi, and Dale Carpenter, a professor of civil rights and civil liberties law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Kaplan was lead counsel in United States v. Windsor, the landmark case that struck down sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and paved the way to marriage equality from coast to coast.