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North Carolina Marriage Update

This morning, October 10, attorneys for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis and North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger filed a 14-page brief in federal district court in Greensboro, N.C. in defense of North Carolina’s marriage statutes and constitutional Marriage Protection Amendment. The brief argues the following:


  • In its ruling in the Virginia Bostic marriage case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit failed to apply binding Supreme Court precedent from Baker v. Nelson, a same-gender marriage case the high court dismissed for “want of a substantial federal question;”
  • The Fourth Circuit “inappropriately applied [heightened] or strict scrutiny to the challenged laws after unnecessary concessions made by the defendants,” as opposed to a rational basis test; and
  • “The outcome in Bostic was tainted by factual concessions and omissions made by the defendants which were not made in this litigation.”

As of 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, Chief Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. had yet to issue a ruling on either of the two marriage cases before him in federal district court.


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