Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wisconsin Supreme Court hears oral arguments in challenge to Wisconsin's "super-DOMA" amendment

11/03/09 Wisconsin Radio Network:

In McConkey v. Van Hollen, No. 2008AP001868 (Wis. Sup. Ct.), plaintiff William McConkey alleges that when voters adopted a state constitutional amendment, Art. XIII, § 13, the amendment banning same-sex marriages and "substantially similar" civil unions should not have qualified for the ballot, because it violates the single-subject rule for constitutional amendments under Art. XII, § 1. Madison attorney Lester Pines presented arguments for McConkey, while assistant attorney general Lewis Beilin defended the validity of the amendment. The Wisconsin Radio Network provides mp3 files of their respective arguments.

[Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen decided he could not represent the state in Appling v. Doyle, 2009AP001860-OA (Wis. Sup. Ct.); Governor Jim Doyle hired Pines to do so. The Wisconsin Supreme Court just denied review of the Appling petition.]

11/03/09 Wisconsin State Bar News
In the case McConkey v. Van Hollen, 2008AP1868, William McConkey alleges that the amendment ballot measure improperly asked voters to consider two unrelated questions in violation of the state constitution’s “separate amendment” rule. Specifically, McConkey argues that the amendment posed the question of whether marriage is properly defined as the union of one man and one woman, but also that it sought to restrain the power of the Legislature to grant privileges to any unmarried couple – whether homosexual or not.
11/03/09 Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
The case centers on the technical process of amending the constitution and does not hinge on the merits of whether gay couples should be allowed to marry or enter into civil unions. If the court eliminates the constitutional ban, gay marriage would still be illegal because of a state law.

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