IBJNews

Judge: Pence contradicted himself on gay marriage

Associated Press
August 20, 2014
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A federal judge says Indiana Gov. Mike Pence contradicted himself on same-sex marriage, telling the court he had no power to enforce Indiana's gay marriage ban but then directing executive agencies about how to proceed after court rulings on the subject.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but he put the order on hold as a federal appeals court is taking up his earlier decisions on the issue. The state appealed the latest ruling Wednesday.

Also in the Tuesday ruling, Young said that on June 26, a day after he struck down Indiana's ban, Pence ordered agencies to abide by that ruling. But when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Young's order, the governor said that "executive branch agencies are to execute their functions as though the U.S. District Court order ... had not been issued."

That contradicted Pence's repeated assertions that he did not have "any authority to enforce, or other role respecting," the state's ban on gay marriage, Young wrote, quoting a brief filed May 29 by Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher in the latest case. Pence "did what he claimed he could not do by directing executive agencies on how to proceed in enforcing the law," Young wrote.

Young called Pence's actions a "bold misrepresentation" and said that he found them "to be, at a minimum, troubling."

Pence's decisions, announced in memoranda from chief counsel Mark Ahearn, applied only to state agencies that report to his governor's office and would affect state services controlled by those agencies, such as the ability to file jointly for state taxes.

"The memoranda issued by the Governor clearly contradict his prior representations to the court," Young wrote in Tuesday's ruling.

As a result, Young stripped Pence of the immunity from the lawsuit that he had previously been granted.

"By law a governor exercises authority over the executive branch of government. Governor Pence has a duty to uphold the laws of the state and will continue to do so while respecting the courts' rulings. That does not make the governor a proper party in every lawsuit against the State of Indiana," Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault said in a statement Wednesday.

Attorney general's office spokesman Bryan Corbin said in a statement that the agency believed the governor should not have been named as a defendant.

Young ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize the marriage of Michelle and Shannon Bowling of Indianapolis, who were married in Polk County, Iowa, on Jan. 18, 2011. Shannon Bowling is employed by the Indiana Department of Correction, and the couple sued to seek state benefits for Michelle Bowling and her children from a previous relationship.

Since the state personnel and revenue departments report to the governor, Pence "clearly does have something to do with it," said the couple's attorney, Richard A. Mann.

The 7th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments next week on the state's appeal of Young's June 25 ruling throwing out Indiana's gay marriage ban. How long the stay in the Bowling case remains in effect depends on how the appeals court rules on that other case, the attorney general's office said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Pence Hypocrisy
    I want to applaud Judge Young for calling a spade a shovel in Gov. Pence. I couldn't understand how the good Judge previously dismissed Pence for want of power to enforce or apply Indiana's same-sex marriage ban when Pence, immediately after the ruling, ordered State agencies to disregard the Court's ruling. Unfortunately, it is a rarity anymore to see quality writing that succinctly disposes of justice. It is one saving grace of a life time appointment to the federal judiciary. Judge's like Young, Pence, Hamilton, Barker, and many more have done a quality job of refining their writing to honor its meat and not chafe. Well done.
  • A politician lied or mislead?
    I'm shocked (sarcasm)...not the first time nor the last time. Gov. Pence is career politician with a desire to be President, should we expect anything less?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

ADVERTISEMENT