PHOTO: the first court case on same-sex marriage was initiated by University of Minnesota law student Jack Baker in 1970: Baker et al. v. Nelson, Oct. 10, 1972, "United States Reports, Volume 409, Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court, October Term, 1972," U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974, p. 810. The Appeal was "dismissed for want of a substantial federal question." Notice how this same phrase was used to dismiss scads of other cases. The court seemed to be using it as shorthand to say a case was a matter of state law and not federal law. For more analysis on this case see the article by Arthur S. Leonard, "Obama Administration Versus Candidate Obama," Gay City News, Jun. 18, 2009. Also see previous posts Baker v. Nelson 1972 Supreme Court order on gay marriage (7/22/09), and Arthur S. Leonard on Baker v Nelson gay marriage case (7/28/09).
To learn more about the legal cases of gay and lesbian law I have been a regular reader of the blog by the New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, until it seemed to disappear recently, and then just when I was wondering where it had gone, he posted the following on his old blog: ALeonard, "This blog is no longer live - see my new blog address below," newyorklawschool.typepad.com/leonardlink posted Apr. 27, 2013:
The new blog says, "Arthur S. Leonard, a professor at New York Law School since 1982, edits the monthly newsletter Lesbian/Gay Law Notes, and is co-author of Sexuality Law (Carolina Academic Press) and AIDS Law in a Nutshell (West Publishing Co.). He writes on legal issues for Gay City News (New York), and serves as a trustee of the Jewish Board of Family & Children's Services of New York."
There is always something going in the courts relative to gay, lesbian and transgender law, but I am especially looking forward to reading Art Leonard's analysis on the most important two same-sex marriage test cases that are commonly referred to as the California Prop 8 decision and the DOMA or Defense of Marriage case. The CA Prop 8 case tests the ability of a state to decide marriage law on its own and the DOMA case looks at the right for all legal marriages to be recognized nationwide, even if some states don't allow the marriage to be performed in their state. This concept came up years ago when some states outlawed interracial marriage and would refuse to recognize such marriages legally performed in state where it was legal. It has always been true that individual states have had the right to define the specific requirements to get married in the state. For example, the age one can marry legally varies from state to state. Note that Leonard's blog also includes his posts his other passions, such as music.