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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Eighth Circuit Court Enters Order Holding Same Sex Appeals in Abeyance


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Wednesday, April 29, 2015
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern  (605) 773-3215 

Eighth Circuit Court Enters Order Holding Same Sex Appeals in Abeyance

PIERRE, S.D.  – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that, on its own motion, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals entered an Order deferring oral argument and consideration of South Dakota’s same sex case Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard. The Eighth Circuit entered similar orders in the Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas cases.  The Eighth Circuit deferred the cases pending the United States Supreme Court’s decision in same sex cases Obergefell, et al. v. Richard Hodges, etc.  The Eighth Circuit’s Order was entered one day following the Supreme Court hearing oral argument in the Obergefell same sex cases. It is anticipated that the Supreme Court will decide the cases prior to the Court’s adjournment at the end of June. 

“Based upon the oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court, it appears the Supreme Court may well decide the issues that South Dakota and the other states have appealed.  In the event there are any issues left to be decided, the Eighth Circuit will still have the ability to consider the pending cases,” said Jackley.  “It remains my position that the decision whether South Dakota should permit or recognize same sex marriages is a question for our citizens and state legislature, not the federal courts.”

In November 2006, South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment making marriage valid only between a man and a woman. South Dakota voters approved this amendment by a vote of 172,242 to 160,173. South Dakota Constitution Article XXI, Section 9 defines only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota. In addition, SDCL 25-1-1 defines marriage as a personal relation between man and a woman.