Michigan’s Supreme Court has refused to hear a child custody case involving two lesbians.
The court said there was no evidence that a review is necessary in the case of Renee Harmon and her former partner Tammy Davis.
Ms Harmon is fighting for custody of the three children she had with Ms Davis before their 19-year relationship ended.
The couple, who were in a domestic partnership, had three children together with Ms Davis as the biological mother.
Ms Harmon began her legal fight in 2009. She was initially granted visitation rights when the couple split in 2008 but Ms Davis then withdrew access.
A lower court ruled that Ms Harmon had the legal standing to pursue her custody case but the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed.
Her legal team filed an appeal in October 2010 for the Supreme Court to review the case. Since the appeal was filed, the make-up of the bench has flipped from majority Democrat to majority Republican.
The bench ruled 4-3 along party lines not to hear the case. Democrat judges Michael F Cavanagh, Diane M Hathaway and Marilyn J Kelly voted in favour of hearing the appeal.
Ms Harmon, who has not seen her children for two years, said she was “devastated” and “discouraged” by the decision but added that she would keep going forward.
She is expected to take her case to a federal court.