PENNSYLVANIA: Court Defines Issues For Montgomery County Marriages Cases

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court has published five guidelines that define the issues to be decided in the lawsuit to stop Montgomery County from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

According to the court directive, the five main issues to be argued in the lawsuit include whether Commonwealth Court has jurisdiction, because Hanes might be considered a judicial officer, and whether the issuance of a marriage license is even a judicial act at all. Another issue is whether the Pennsylvania Health Department, which filed the lawsuit against Hanes, has the legal standing to sue. If it does not, a judge will have to determine whether Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s refusal to defend the state’s marriage act has any implications for the case. Since the Health Department is asking the court to issue a writ of mandamus against Hanes — essentially ordering him to stop issuing the licenses — a judge will also have to decide whether his actions are constitutional.

The case begins on September 4th. (Tipped by JMG reader Samuel)