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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Lawyer Seeks to Uphold Ban on Same-Sex Marriage @ SCOTUS

Public opinion on the hot-button issue of same-sex marriage is divided into roughly two same-sized camps with proponents barely having the edge according to most opinion polls. Since 2009, this law blog has described the topic as the civil rights issue of our time.

Next week, a Michigan lawyer from a mid-sized law firm will be arguing the much-anticipated same-sex marriage case for the State of Michigan. Attorney John J. Bursch, now a partner at Warner Norcross & Judd, will present the state's arguments as the respondent in the DeBoer case. He will not do so on behalf of his law firm, however, as they declined to take the case. Mr. Bursch will appear as a Special Assistant Attorney General.

Let's not forget that a brief time ago, Bursch was the Solicitor General of the State of Michigan, serving as Attorney General Bill Schuette's litigator-in-chief. In this position, he argued 8 times before the SCOTUS in two short years and has been before the Michigan Supreme Court no less than 17 times.

Then he moved-on to private practice where he is the co-chair of Warner Norcross' appellate section. Bursch is the principal author of the Michigan Supreme Court publication Guide for Counsel and a chapter author of the Michigan Appellate Handbook. We should also mention his law firm's excellent law blog, One Court of Justice, to which Bursch, no doubt, makes regular weighty contributions for the firm.

When he takes the podium to face the 9 justices in the same-sex marriage and adoption case, he joins historic luminaries such as John Adams [who represented British soldiers accused of murder] Clarence Darrow [who also represented unpopular murderers of his day], John W. Davis [also prolific before the SCOTUS, and who argued in favor of segregated schools] and Paul D. Clement [who lost the same-sex Windsor case in 2012] by arguing a position most legal scholars believe is not on the right side of history.

In so championing the same-sex marriage ban, Bursch may not have the backing of his law firm, but he does have some intellectual reinforcements. A near record 64 amicus briefs have been filed in support of banning same-sex marriage.

After the oral arguments next Tuesday morning, a decision in the landmark case is expected toward the end of June. If past practice is any guide, the justices, some of whom are expected to write separately in what may become a "plurality" decision, will work on their separate opinions right up to the wire, releasing the opinion(s) just before the conclusion of the Court's session.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Joe Baublis said...

Ah yes, a glorious expert arises from the peanut gallery's authoritarian ranks and explains how the so-called "law" simultaneously promotes discrimination and restricts freedom.

April 22, 2015 at 8:09 AM 
Blogger Timothy P. Flynn said...

Joe:

Thanks for your comment. "promotes discrimination" and "restricts freedom"? Can you expound your thoughts on this important topic; we would be most appreciative.

April 22, 2015 at 8:16 AM 

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