The AAJ Civil Rights Section presents the Leonard Weinglass in Defense of Civil Liberties Award, annually, to honor an attorney or a civil rights advocate who has made a noteworthy contribution to the defense of our civil rights and civil liberties bringing, trying, or resolving a suit, or by otherwise protecting or advancing civil liberties, in a way that has had a significant impact.
As we predicted, the Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide. The Court decision is a landmark victory for equality in this country. As anticipated, Justice Kennedy's comments at oral argument were not indicative of his ultimate decision as Justice Kennedy, in fact, wrote the majority opinion for the Court. Also, as reflected in this firm's brief in the Eleventh Circuit case on this subject, the decision in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), was incredibly persuasive to the Court.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court held oral arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage. The arguments revealed a few surprises. We are pleased that Justice Roberts pointed out that the marriage ban might be sex discrimination. Chief Justice Roberts stated that, "I mean, if Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can't. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn't that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?"
Certain cases define moments in history and, for those lawyers fortunate enough to litigate such cases, the receipt of an order granting relief often feels like Christmas in summer. Therefore, it is with great pride and more than a little relief, that the members of this firm received Judge Hinkle's Order declaring Florida's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The judge's entire order has been printed on this site. No additional words are necessary, except a deeply felt "thank you" to our Plaintiffs: James D. Brenner, Charles D. Jones, Stephen Schlariet, and Ozzie Russ.