GOP North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today filed a motion seeking the dismissal of the marriage equality lawsuit filed in late May.
The state attorney general’s office filed the motion late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fargo. North Dakota Solicitor General Doug Bahr argues in court documents that states have the right to define and regulate marriage. “Nothing in the United States Constitution prevents the people of North Dakota from defining marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman,” Bahr wrote in his 50-page response. North Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage 10 years ago. The ballot received 73 percent approval. “The people of North Dakota, through the deliberative political process, retain the traditional understanding of marriage as the union between a man and a woman,” Bahr wrote. “It is the constitutional duty of the attorney general to represent the state when it is sued,” he said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Only the Supreme Court can determine whether North Dakota’s enactment is constitutional or not,” he said.
A second marriage lawsuit was filed against state last month.