US: Texas Attorney General accused of ‘stalling’ same-sex marriage appeal

Nick Duffy July 20, 2014
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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been accused of deliberately stalling his appeal, after the state’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down.

Judge Orlando Garcia struck down the state’s marriage ban in February, but stayed the ruling, meaning it will not come into effect until Abbott’s appeal is concluded.

However, over five months later, Abbott and Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell have sought a second extension to the final deadline for the submission of their legal brief, because it is purportedly still not ready.

The deadline for his office’s submission was initially on July 9, but he has received an extension to July 16, and now July 28.

Even if he keeps to the new July 28 date, the protracted legal process means final briefs won’t have to be submitted until September, at which point couples will have been banned from marrying for seven months without a single appeal hearing.

Applying for the second extension, Abbott’s office wrote: “Applicants do not seek this extension for purposes of delay, but rather so that appellate counsel Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell has sufficient time to prepare a brief that is thorough, accurate, and helpful to the Court.

“The issue in this case, the constitutionality of Texas’ same-sex marriage laws, is important and complex. The additional time would allow Mr. Mitchell to give this case the attention that it deserves.

“Besides this case, Mr. Mitchell also has obligations with respect to other multiple lawsuits including challenges to Texas’ voter ID laws, redistricting, an upcoming bench trial concerning Texas’ abortion laws, and a United States Supreme Court capital case undergoing merits briefing.”

Attorneys for the couples fighting the ban wrote: “The Solicitor General’s vague claim of being too busy to prioritize this appeal simply does not justify further delaying this dispute.

“Appellees are suffering irreparable harm due to the violation of their Constitutional rights, and that harm should not be extended merely because nearly five months have proven an insufficient amount of time for the Solicitor General to prepare Appellants’ opening brief.”

Lone Star Q wrote: “Is Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott stalling in same-sex marriage case?”

Abbott is currently running to replace Rick Perry as governor of Texas, against Democrat Wendy Davis.

Related topics: attorney general, Civil partnerships, delay, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, greg abbott, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, Texas, US, wedding

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