Welcome to The Briefcase

Commentary and analysis of Ohio criminal law and whatever else comes to mind, served with a dash of snark.  Continue Reading »

×

June 11, 2006

Gay marriage is back on the front burner, and not only because the US Congress, fresh from solving all the country's other problems, failed in their attempt to remedy one of the Founders' glaring omissions. A few weeks back, the 3rd District in State v. McKinley concluded that the Defense of Marriage Amendment passed by referendum in November of 2004 precludes a conviction of domestic violence where the victim is cohabiting with the defendant, on the theory that this gives non-married cohabitants a "status" equal to marriage, which the Amendment prohibits.


The 2nd District had come to the same conclusion, but that contention has been rejected in the 5th District, the 8th, the 9th, the 10th, and the 12th.  (The 7th District also reversed a dismissal, although only because it felt the facts needed to be developed.)  The 3rd District certified the conflict to the Supreme Court, where the question is ultimately going to be resolved.

I'm not going to sort through the arguments here, mainly because it doesn't matter; anyone who can't guess how the Supreme Court's going to decide this one probably went to see the movie Titanic and was surprised when the ship sank. Frankly, it's somewhat ironic that for all the sturm und drang the campaign on the Amendment engendered, the sole result of its passage to date has been to declare Open Season on Girlfriends in two appellate districts.

Then again, I confess to never having fully understood what the fuss was about. Yes, there are people who will say, "But Russ, if gays can marry each other, why can't someone marry his sister? Or a ten-year-old? Or his dog? Where do you draw the line?" Well, gosh, I don't know. How about we draw the line at marrying your sister or a ten-year-old or a dog?

That's just me, though. As they say in the commercials, your mileage may vary.

Search

Recent Entries

  • March 28, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Pro se motions, pro se defendants, and advice for deadbeat dads
  • March 27, 2017
    Case Update
    Gorsuch's embarrassing day, upcoming oral arguments in SCOTUS
  • March 20, 2017
    Taking time off
    I'm taking the week off. Have a major brief due on Thursday, plus a trial in Federal court starting next Monday. Plus, I'm pretty sure that Obama wiretapped me, too, so I'm working on getting to the bottom of that....
  • March 17, 2017
    What's Up with the 8th?
    The 8th District cases come out every Thursday. By about ten o'clock in the morning, the court will have posted the "weekly decision list" on its web site. It will give a summary of the case, usually in a sentence...
  • March 14, 2017
    Rippo and Pena-Rodriguez
    SCOTUS issues decisions on judicial recusal and biased jurors
  • March 13, 2017
    Case Update
    A SCOTUS decision on career offenders, and appellate cases on what a judge can consider in sentencing, and untimely motions to suppress
  • March 9, 2017
    A switch in time
    The court reverses itself in Gonzalez
  • March 8, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    More sentencing stories, and the right way to handle an Anders brief
  • March 7, 2017
    Case Update
    Knock and announce and the Ohio Constitution, and Anders briefs.
  • March 6, 2017
    Never mind
    The Ohio Supreme Court reverses Gonzalez.