Opening Brief Filed in Virginia Gay Marriage Case

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A lawyer defending Virginia's gay marriage ban says a federal judge who struck down the law usurped authority the U.S. Supreme Court has reserved for states.

The attorney for court clerks in Norfolk and Prince William County made the argument Friday in court papers filed in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. The clerks are appealing a federal judge's ruling last month declaring Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Lawyers for two same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit will respond to the clerks' opening briefs next month, and a three-judge panel of the appeals court will hear arguments in May. Both sides expect the Supreme Court to ultimately resolve the issue, either in this case or a similar one from another state.


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