Plaintiffs respond to 4th Circuit ruling on SB2, North Carolina “Magistrate Recusal” Law

A three-judge panel from the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that plaintiffs in Ansley v. Warren, the federal lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 2, do not have standing to challenge the law.

We are reviewing the court’s opinion published this morning and will make a decision about whether to pursue any further appeals, either to the full 4th Circuit or to the Supreme Court,” says Luke Largess, a partner at Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and lead counsel in Ansley v. Warren.

“SB2 is unjust and distorts the true meaning of religious freedom. From day one, it’s been clear that SB2 is about one thing – finding a new way to discriminate against same-sex couples and privileging one set of religious beliefs over others. We will keep standing up to discrimination until LGBTQ North Carolinians are equal in every sphere of life,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.

The ruling can be read at:

Signed into law by Governor McCrory in 2015, Senate Bill 2 is a North Carolina state law that allows magistrates and other public employees who do not believe in marriage equality to be recused from serving same-sex couples. The law allows magistrates to renounce their judicial oath to uphold and evenly apply the United States Constitution.


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