Supreme Court Won't Hear Jan Brewer's Fight to Keep Gay Couples From Getting Benefits

brewer-teeth.jpg
Matthew Hendley
Governor Jan Brewer's fight to keep the partners of gay state employees from getting benefits is a losing battle for the governor, so far.

The day after the Supreme Court made its decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, the court decided to not review Brewer's fight to implement the law, which denies benefits to "domestic partners."

See also:
Arizona Gay-Marriage Proponents Trying to Get Issue on 2014 Ballot: "It's Go Time"

Brewer has always insisted that the law was based "solely out of financial need" and wasn't discriminatory. Brewer signed the budget cutting benefits for domestic partners in 2009, just one year they were put into place in a budget from then-Governor Janet Napolitano.

In a statement, Brewer frames it as a law that axes "domestic-partner benefits for State employees of every sexual orientation," although you'll realize that straight couples can get married in the state, while gay couples do not have that right. If you check out the eligibility requirements for benefits from the state, they're actually pretty stringent.

According to SCOTUSblog:
The Ninth Circuit Court barred enforcement of that law, and the state had appealed, arguing that its law was actually neutral, and thus should satisfy constitutional demands for legal equality.
Again, the Supreme Court's decision not to review the case means the injunction stays in place, keeping the state from enforcing its law for the time being.

Lambda Legal, the organization representing gay state employees in the lawsuit, Brewer v. Diaz -- which includes gay university employees, and game and fish department workers -- still needs to get a victory at the trial court to get a permanent injunction against the law.

From Lambda Legal:
"Lesbian and gay employees of the state of Arizona can now rest assured that their vital family health insurance will not be stripped away while they fight the State's discriminatory effort to eliminate that coverage," said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Tara Borelli. "With the preliminary injunction now left in place, we can proceed to the resolution of the case."

"Arizona has tried everything it can to eliminate this coverage," Borelli said, "but it has no more cards to play in this round. It's time to go back to the trial court so that we can get a final ruling to assure these employees that they will not be denied the equal pay for equal work they deserve."
In Brewer's statement, she claims this case has "never been about domestic partners, same-sex or otherwise."

"It is always been about the authority of elected State officials to make decisions with which we have been entrusted by the voters," she says. "I'm disappointed the High Court has eroded that authority with its decision today."

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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36 comments
MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

Sigh.

I wonder how much this case cost Arizona taxpayers? And did the money for the case come from the state general fund or its discretionary fund?

For a so-called conservative GED Jan is wasting precious little taxpayer cash on frivolous BS.

Reminds me of a certain narcissistic old man who wears a plastic pistol tie tack....

DNichols
DNichols

I wonder how Jans new B.F.F. Sheriff Rue Paul Babeu feels about his Gal Pals tough stance against Gays?!

bobunf
bobunf

How much did all this legal maneuvers for the last four years cost the state? Lost in District Court; lost on appeal; and THEN the Supreme Court with a case so lacking in merit, the Supremes won't even hear it !!


Attorneys' and other fees, the huge amount of time of state employees for four years !! I think around $5 million. It would have been twice that, or more, if the Court had deigned to even hear the case. Thankfully they didn't.

By my reckoning, Arizona is spending over a $100 million a year trying to stick it to gays, Latinos, marijuana smokers, and stopping people from voting. With very limited success at any of these endeavors.

How about an honest accounting of all this. Let the taxpayers decide if they like their money being wasted by very dumb, racist and opportunist politicians. Starting at the top and working your way down.

OATHKEEPER1958
OATHKEEPER1958

WELL MARRIAGE IS ONLY FOR A MAN AND WOMAN AND GOD MADE US THAT WAY, BUT NOW WE HAVE ALL THESE CONFUSED INDIVIDUALS THAT NEED THE LORD MORE THAN ANY GOVERNMENT CAN GIVE THEM IN "RIGHTS"  LIKE I SAID, AIN'T NO CIVIL RIGHTS, IT'S A CIVIL WRONG.  NO CIVIL RIGHTS, A CIVIL WRONG.   AND I'LL CONTINUE TO SAY IT UNTIL OUR GOVERNMENT GETS IT RIGHT!!!!    http://youtu.be/r2w2TRxSLxw

Cozz
Cozz

GED Gin Jan Brewer is making a career out of being a loser.....

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Hey Brewer


..l..

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

Two points, both constitutional.

First, ""It is always been about the authority of elected State officials to make decisions with which we have been entrusted by the voters,"  - No Jan, elected State officials do not have now, nor have they ever had, the authority to make decisions that violate the U.S. Constution, regardless of what the voters may want.

Second, the more interesting fight coming up is going to be over whether states that have state constitution provisions banning same sex marriage will be required to recognize same sex marriages from other states under the Full Faith and Credit provision in the U.S. Constitution.

DNichols
DNichols

Funny,  Brewer had no problem with De-fruading Social Security of $75,000.00 Dollars to reward her Knife Point Rapist Son while he served his sentence, however she dosen't want Gays to get benifits?!

Wow.

sarum
sarum

She has no standing cuz she is not gay?

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

"It is always been about the authority of elected State officials to make decisions with which we have been entrusted by the voters," she says. "I'm disappointed the High Court has eroded that authority with its decision today."

So, Stinky Finger, if this is really how you feel, then there should be no more attempts by you or your cabal, to derail medical marijuana?

sarum
sarum

@DNichols People without rights often end up in slavish situations.  Many a rich supposedly straight guy finances a gay man harem for his afternoon delights.  Rue Paul probably cares nothing for gay rights.

sarum
sarum

@HILLFOLKREDNECK Our entire legal, medical and financial system is geared to reward the 2 people in a marriage model.  If 2 people are willing to make that kind of commitment to each other then they should be included in the system that rewards that behavior.  If anything legalizing gay marriage strengthens our contemporary interpretation of marriage - not weakens it.  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/edie-windsor-supreme-court-ruling_n_3454924.html

This couple was committed more than 40 years - in sickness and in health - much stronger commitment demonstrated than most heterosexual couples.  Cost Edie, the surviving partner, more than " $363,053 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance of her wife's estate. If federal law had accorded their marriage the same status as different-sex marriages recognized by their state, Windsor would have qualified for an unlimited spousal deduction, and paid no federal estate taxes"

It's not about the faux morality - it's about the money.  Employers giving health benefits to partners in same sex couples is not favorable business climate.  Morally it IS the right thing to do.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@HILLFOLKREDNECK. U NEED TO STOP POSTING UR BULLSHIT AND VIDEOS TOOTHLESS  HILLBILLY,  U AND ALEX JONES CAN GO AND SLOBER ON SOME MEAT, I'VE HEARD THAT TOOTHLESS ONES R GOOD AT DOING THAT.

U R LIVING IN THE PAST DUDE. THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY. U NEED TO FIND ANOTHER HILL WHEN U MOVE TO ALABAMA, BTW I CAN HELP U TO MOVE UR GOATS, CHICKENS, COWS AND UR CABIN. JUST GO AWAY, TAKE THE RACIST 1 AND JAFFY WITH U, THAT WAY HE CAN HELP BOTH OF U WHEN THE CHANGE OF DIAPERS IS NEEDED. PROBABLY U'LL BE MORE THEN WELCOME  OVER THERE. HASTA LA VISTA PUTOS.

charlesmartel_tours
charlesmartel_tours

@JohnQ.Public SCOTUS already addressed this: Section II of DOMA, which allows states to deny recognition of same-sex marriage licenses from other states, was upheld.

The Full Faith and Credit Clause is not absolute: medical licenses, law licenses, private detective licenses, and many other types of licenses granted in one state can be denied in other states.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@sarum They didn't rule on whether she has standing.  They simply didn't hear the case.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@shadeaux14 It's no different that Ca. Attorney General doing everything she could to derail Prop 8.  I guess what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@charlesmartel_tours The USSC did not uphold Section 2 - this section was not addressed in the decision.  Per the Court's opinion, "DOMA contains two operative sections:  Section 2, which has not been challenged here, allows States to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other States.  See 28 U.S.C. 1738C.  Section 3 is at issue here."  Therefore, Section 2 wasn't briefed, argued, analyzed or addressed by the Court so it is inaccurate to describe it as being "upheld" by the Court.

The full faith and credit clause is not absolute but it is powerful which is why I predict that this will be the next big area of litigation in this area as same-sex married couples move to other states and seek to have the marriages recognized in states that have laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks That's what makes it interesting.  Currently only a handful of states recognize common law marriages but as far as I'm aware if a couple is recognized as having a common law marriage in the state in which the marriage was established all other states recognize the couple as married for general legal purposes such as divorce, next of kin, intestate succession, etc.  So if a state recognizes a common law marriage from another state as being legit even though the state wouldn't itself grant a common law marriage, is the state obligated to recognize a same sex marriage from another state as being legit even though the state wouldn't itself grant a same sex marriage.  I predict that this will be the next big wave of litigation in this area and will make its way to the USSC in the next 2-3 years.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@yourproductsucks Yes, according to the Constitution, they should recognize them, just as most other states do.  That's not a battle that's worth fighting, though.  

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@yourproductsucks @JohnQ.Public Are people married in AZ still married in CA?


CCW's are not part of the US Constitution, YPS.

interloper
interloper

@yourproductsucks@shadeaux14 

The following is a portion of the oath the California  Attorney General swore upon taking office:

"I, ___________________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States...

Apparently the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California agrees with the California Attorney General (current and immediate past) that Prop 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also agreed, though that decision is now vacated. 

So YPS, would you have the California Attorney General violate her/his oath of office (i.e. not bearing true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution) so she/he could defend a law that violates the U.S. Constitution?

You can't have it both ways.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative You'd think so, but states refused to recognize interracial marriages in the '50s and '60s but I don't think that was never challenged under full faith and credit clause so I don't know that it's been tested. 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks @WhoKnows Actually, we can.  The will of the people, as important as it is in a democracy, can't contrevene or violate the U.S. Constitution.  For example, say voters voted for proposition to establish segregation - it may be the will of the people but it contrevene's the Constitution and I would praise the state AG that refused to defend that proposition in court.  If a person's view is that CA Prop. 8 violates the equal protection provisions in the Bill of Rights, then that person can praise an AG that refuses to defend it will condemning an AG that refuses to defend (or outright attacks) a voter approved proposition that doesn't violate the Constitutional.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@yourproductsucks Bye!

Have fun in "Anal Retentive World"!

Seems YOU were the one that brought Prop 8 into this thread!

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@WhoKnows you are obviously not capable of participating in s reasonable argument as you can't even stay on topic or refrain from demeaning attitudes.  Have fun arguing with yourself, as I am done with my interaction with you. 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@yourproductsucks @WhoKnows 

Babble Speak!  Where is my Babble Fish?  Remember your towel!

As you seem to be against same sex marriage, are you also against inter-racial marriage?


BTW, I think AZ beni's should only be available to a LEGAL spouse, but until same-sex marriage is available in AZ, the "domestic partner" thing is the second best.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@WhoKnows I am making a simple point that you can't condemn one politician who chooses to intervene and even overrule the will of the people in one genre, and praise another for doing the same thing reference a different issue, simply because you agree with the politician.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@yourproductsucks The SCOTUS should have ruled as they did in Loving vs Virginia on inter-racial marriage in the late 60's and just said same sex marriage is legal anywhere in the US.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@yourproductsucks CA, 12 other states, and DC.  The 37 other states will soon enter the 20th, and maybe the 21st century.

Marriage in the US is a civil contract between two people who are legally old enough to enter that contract, so there is nothing to "re-define".  It just needs to include everyone.


You do know that in AZ, even 1st cousins can get married, right? (they just have to prove they can't have kids)

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@interloper It's too bad that SCOTUS did not rule on the issue, rather than take the easy way out...

Appellate Courts are over ruled all the time.  The Nineth circuit is the most over ruled Circuit in the nation. 

The attempt to redefine marriage is far from over, even in the State of California.

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