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Both Sides of Kentucky's Same-Sex Marriage Cases Push for Supreme Court Review

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday filed his support for the request that the U.S. Supreme Court consider the state's same-sex marriage cases.The state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was upheldin November by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The plaintiffs, including Louisville residents, recently appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.Laura Landenwich, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said on Tuesday that the response from the governor is a “bit unique” because in many cases the winning party of an appeals court decision will not pursue a review from a higher court.Beshear has previously said he believes the Supreme Court should give states "clear direction" on same-sex marriage.A Supreme Court decision would in part address “legal chaos” that exists within the nation’s, according to the filing. Appeals and district courts across the nation have not offered uniformity regarding same-sex marriage, the filings state, which creates a “patchwork of inconsistent decisions resulting in uncertainty and confusion.”Speaking Tuesday, Landenwich made a similar point.“It is everyone’s interest to settle the issue and not have so much uncertainty and not have people with rights that appear and disappear as they travel throughout the country,” Landenwich said.A decision from the Supreme Court on whether the cases will be reviewed could come as early as January, Landenwich said.  Oral arguments before the Supreme Court would begin in the summer, she added.“After that it will be a waiting game,” she said.Plaintiffs from the three other states in the 6th Circuit—Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan—have also appealed the Supreme Court.Landenwich said from the perspective of an attorney, it is somewhat exciting to have the potential to plead a case to the Supreme Court.  On the other hand, she said, it is not a good place to be.“I really hate the fact that we are here, coming off a loss at the court of appeals, because for our clients that means many more months of uncertainly and the disrespect and all that comes with the state’s refusal to recognize their family,” she said.Here is the entire response filed by Beshear’s attorneys.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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