Lambda Legal: Heightened Scrutiny Will Be A Game-Changer For Nevada

Via press release from Lambda Legal:

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto late yesterday issued a statement declaring that her office was reconsidering the State’s arguments in Lambda Legal’s lawsuit challenging Nevada’s discriminatory marriage ban, Sevcik v. Sandoval, in light of the recent U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in GlaxoSmithKline v. Abbott Laboratories. Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Tara Borelli issued the following statement:

“While we are confident that Nevada’s discriminatory marriage ban would be found unconstitutional under any level of scrutiny, it is even clearer after the GlaxoSmithKline v. Abbott Laboratories decision. The Ninth Circuit ruling in the GlaxoSmithKline case is a game-changer and cannot help but compel reconsideration of all arguments supporting discriminatory marriage bans such as Nevada’s.

“We have long argued that discriminatory classifications based upon sexual orientation must at least meet the same standard of review as those based upon sex – they should be presumed to be unconstitutional. In the GlaxoSmithKline decision the Ninth Circuit has agreed, ruling that heightened judicial scrutiny must be applied to such discriminatory classifications. We are glad the Nevada Attorney General is reconsidering the issue.”

RELATED: Last spring both chambers of the Nevada state legislature repealed the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. That would have to happen again in the 2015 session before it could be placed on a public ballot in November 2016.