Bench Memos

Sham Litigation Against Marriage in Oregon

According to documents obtained from the Oregon attorney general’s by the National Organization for Marriage, attorney general Ellen Rosenblum and her staff colluded in advance with counsel for same-sex couples to overturn the state’s marriage laws.

The so-called Geiger lawsuit against Oregon’s marriage laws was filed in mid-October 2013. Beginning as early as July 2013, attorney general Rosenblum and her staff consulted extensively with plaintiffs’ counsel—reviewing the draft complaint, coordinating strategy, and engineering the false appearance of initial adverseness between the parties.

In February 2014, Rosenblum made quite a public show of her decision not to defend against the lawsuit. But the fix was in even before the lawsuit was filed.

In a petition for rehearing en banc, NOM argues that the documents “demonstrate a lack of adversarialness sufficient to raise serious questions about the jurisdiction of the court below.” (The federal district court issued its ruling against Oregon’s marriage laws in May 2014.)


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