Thursday, August 27, 2009

Alliance Defense Fund files amicus brief in Wisconsin lawsuit challenging state's super DOMA amendment

08/27/09 Alliance Defense Fund press release:

In McConkey v. Van Hollen (Wisconsin Supreme Court Case No. 2008AP001868), plaintiff William McConkey alleges that when voters adopted a state constitutional amendment, Art. XIII, § 13, the amendment should not have qualified for the ballot, because it violates the single-subject rule for constitutional amendments under Art. XII, § 1.

In its press release, ADF states:
ADF attorneys submitted their latest friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Wisconsin Family Council in the lawsuit, now named McConkey v. Van Hollen, together with ADF-allied attorney Samuel Taylor of Kenosha, Wisconsin. In conjunction with the brief, ADF attorneys submitted a motion for permission to file the brief ... ADF attorneys argue, as they have in previous friend-of-the-court briefs, that the amendment deals with only one issue--preserving and protecting the institution of marriage--and therefore does not violate the requirement that a state constitutional provision address only one subject.
The Supreme Court docket has links to other briefs in the case, including the brief filed by Lester Pines on behalf of McConkey.

I will try to obtain and post the lower court ruling in the case. State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen describes the ruling by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard G. Niess and the appeal:
In the circuit court, Judge Niess found that the marriage amendment ballot question satisfied the constitutional requirement that each ballot question contain only one amendment. Judge Niess found that the question was a single amendment because the propositions contained in the text related to the same subject matter and were designed to accomplish the same general purpose. After Judge Niess’s ruling, McConkey appealed to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, which certified the appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In response to McConkey’s appeal and the Court of Appeals’ certification, Van Hollen has asked the Supreme Court to affirm Judge Niess’s holding.
Please feel welcome to send me the ruling if you have it.

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