US: Despite request, Michigan same-sex marriage ban lawsuit will take usual court route

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Despite a request from the state for an appeal against a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban to see a full panel of 15 judges, the case will take a normal course through the courts.

Last month US District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that the state’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, a decision which attorney general Bill Schuette immediately appealed.

A stay was then put on the ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of appeals, leaving 300+ Michigan gay and lesbian couples who married in the interim in a legal limbo, pending the state’s appeal.

Rather than a three-judge panel for the appeals process, Attorney General Bill Schuette has requested the full 15 judges from the court, known as an ‘en banc’ hearing, to consider the case.

“This is a way to get a swifter, more thoughtful or complete review by all the judges,” Schuette said in a statement.

Despite Schuette’s best attempts, the case will be first seen by a three-judge panel, most likely later in 2014.

A brief order which unanimously rejected Schuette’s request to leapfrog the panel was filed on Monday.