Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Washington State Mulligan

In an oh-what-the-hell move, lawyers for the same-sex couples who were quashed by the Washington State Supreme Court filed for reconsideration of the risible decision. The move has little chance of success.

In addition, the move is so rare that there is no standard for response time or form. The court could immediate publish a one-page rejection, schedule oral arguments or just sit on the matter for months. Remember that the recent decision came nearly a year and one-half after arguments.

Lambda Legal's press release with details is here.

According to the Olympian, "I absolutely want the court to reconsider. Particularly in a case where it was 4 to 5," said Jeff Kingsbury, who with partner Alan Fuller were one of the suing couples. "I think the general consensus is there is some hope that one of those on-the-fence justices might flip."

Predictably, anti-SSM side types are calling them sore losers. This must be different than when they appeal a gay-rights or marriage-equality ruling.

The Seattle Times quotes Lambda Legal's legal director, Jon W. Davidson, as saying, "Instead of explaining why our clients couldn't marry, the court told us why marriage is good for different-sex couples. Barring same-sex couples from marriage only hurts same-sex couples and their families — it doesn't help anyone."

That was pretty much the flavor of the four judges' dissents. In rushing to push the matter back to the legislature, the majority rambled on and on about many non-germane topics and avoided the key issues.

Their attempted avoidance follows similar patterns in states such as New York. The conservative catchphrase activist judge seems increasingly oxymoronic.

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