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2:12-cv-10285 #48

2:12-cv-10285 #48

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc #48 - State Defendants' Reply in support of Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint
Doc #48 - State Defendants' Reply in support of Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Dec 20, 2012
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 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTEASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGANSOUTHERN DIVISION APRIL DEBOER, individually and asparent and next friend of N.D.-R, R.D.-R.,and J.D.-R, minors, and JAYNE ROWSE,individually and as parent and next friendof N.D.-R, R.D.-R., and J.D.-R, minors,Plaintiffs,vRICHARD SNYDER, in his official capacityas Governor of the State of Michigan,BILL SCHUETTE, in his official capacityas Michigan Attorney General, andBILL BULLARD, JR., in his officialcapacity as Oakland County Clerk,Defendants.No. 2:12-cv-10285-BAF-MJHHON. BERNARD A. FRIEDMANMAG. MICHAEL J. HLUCHANIUK 
Dana M. Nessel (P51346) Attorney for Plaintiffs645 Griswold Street, Suite 3060Detroit, MI 48226(313) 556-2300dananessel@hotmail.comCarole M. Stanyar (P34830) Attorney for Plaintiffs682 Deer StreetPlymouth, MI 48170(313) 963-7222cstanyar@wowway.comJoseph E. Potchen (49501)Tonya C. Jeter (P55352) Attorney for State DefendantsMich. Dep’t of Attorney GeneralHealth, Education & FamilyServices DivisionP.O. Box 30758Lansing, MI 48909(517) 373-7700; Fax (517) 351-1152potchenj@michigan.gov jetert@michigan.gov/Keith J. Lerminiaux (P30190)Oakland County CorporationCounsel Attorneys for Defendant Bill Bullard,Jr.1200 North Telegraph Road, Bldg. 14EastPontiac, MI 48341-0419(248) 858-0557lerminiauxk@oakgov.com
2:12-cv-10285-BAF-MJH Doc # 48 Filed 12/20/12 Pg 1 of 17 Pg ID 861
States like Michigan are sovereign powers under the U.S. Constitution.
 Alden v. Maine
, 527 U.S. 706, 714 (1999). The State Defendants maintain that,under its sovereign authority, Michigan’s laws defining marriage as being betweena man and a woman are valid and beyond Federal constitutional challenge. Thedefinition of marriage is fundamentally a State decision. It has always been. TheUnited States Supreme Court acknowledged this forty years ago in
 Baker v. Nelson
,409 U.S. 810 (1972), and elsewhere. The State may change this definition, or it mayprefer its retention. Other states have in fact altered the definition to allow same-sex marriage. That is the people’s decision. This present action to override thepeople’s decision has no support in the law and should be dismissed.Plaintiffs:
fail to show that their “garden-variety” equal-protection claimovercomes the U.S. Supreme Court’s summary affirmance in
 Baker v.Nelson
fail to show that the U.S. Constitution requires or permits federalcourts to invalidate a state’s decision defining civil marriage as theunion of one man and one woman;
fail to address State Defendants’ position that Michigan’s Marriage Amendment promotes a legitimate state interest in raising children inan ideal home environment with both a mother and a father;
fail to show that Michigan’s Marriage Amendment was passed becauseof any alleged animosity toward individuals based on sexual-orientation; and
fail to show that there is any fundamental right to a same-sexmarriage.
2:12-cv-10285-BAF-MJH Doc # 48 Filed 12/20/12 Pg 2 of 17 Pg ID 862
 2In summary,
 Baker v. Nelson
precludes Plaintiffs’ equal-protection challengeto Michigan’s Marriage Amendment. Alternatively, if this Court should rule that
does not control, then their claim fails when analyzed under the applicablerational-basis standard for equal-protection challenges based on sexual orientation.Plaintiffs fail to negate every conceivable basis which might support theclassification, especially the notion that defining marriage as between one man andone woman furthers Michigan’s legitimate interests in attempting to provide theideal family setting for its children. Moreover, Plaintiffs fail to establish a viableequal-protection claim based on a
Romer v. Evans
analysis because they fail to showthat passage of the Marriage Amendment was based on pure animus towardhomosexuals. As to their due-process claim, Plaintiffs fail to show that same-sexmarriage is a fundamental right. Accordingly, State Defendants respectfullyrequest this Honorable Court to grant their Motion to Dismiss.
The U. S. Supreme Court has never changed its positionregarding the holding in
 Baker v. Nelson.
Just a few weeks ago, Judge Robert C. Jones reaffirmed the preclusive effectof U. S. Supreme Court’s summary dismissal in
to an equal-protectionchallenge of Nevada’s state marriage laws:[
In Baker
] [t]he U.S. Supreme Court summarily dismissed the appeal[from the Minnesota Supreme Court] so this Court "had best adhere tothe view that" the question of whether a state's refusal to recognizesame-sex marriage offends the Equal Protection Clause isconstitutionally insubstantial and the Court is prevented from comingto an opposite conclusion. [
Sevcik v. Sandoval
, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS169643 at *17-18 (D. Nev. Nov. 26, 2012) (citations omitted, copyattached as Exhibit 1).]
2:12-cv-10285-BAF-MJH Doc # 48 Filed 12/20/12 Pg 3 of 17 Pg ID 863

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