Mississippi: Same-Sex Marriage and the Rational Basis Argument

Any minute Mississippi will be in the national spotlight.

Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

At issue are two pending Federal Court cases attempting to strike down the ban on Mississippi’s Constitutional restriction against same-sex marriage, and a state law prohibiting same-sex adoption.  The arguments have been made and the matters are in the “bosom of the Court.”

The question that the Court is deciding is whether there is a “Rational Basis” for the State (Governmental entity) to restrict the rights of citizens eligible for marriage to one another.

The Rational Basis review tests whether a governmental action is a reasonable means to an end that may be legitimately pursued by the government. This test requires that the governmental action be “rationally related” to a “legitimate” government interest. Under this standard of review, the “legitimate interest” does not have to be the government’s actual interest. Rather, if the court can merely hypothesize a “legitimate” interest served by the challenged action, it will withstand the rational basis review.

During the arguments the Judge asked what is the State’s rational basis in preventing these persons from marrying and adopting.  The State’s response was “responsible procreation.”  Based on that response the Court’s ultimate task is to determine 1) is “responsible procreation” something the State has a legitimate interest in, and 2) are the State imposed restrictions rationally related to that goal.

A ruling should come swiftly and the early indications, based on the Judge’s questions and the reception of the arguments presented, are that Mississippi will be the next State to recognize and allow same-sex marriage.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law -Domestic Relations and is closely following these pending cases and the impact they will have on Mississippi Family Law.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

 

 

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Court is Unpredictable.

Court. The true final frontier.

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Court is where disputes that otherwise cannot get resolved get resolved. However, Court does not always go as planned. Witnesses freeze up and forget details that matter. Your client talks too much and argues with the other side. Or, your client cries uncontrollably and is hard to understand while testifying. The other party has spontaneous amnesia. The Judge has other cases and the other attorney has an emergency in the next Courtroom.

Even the best laid plans go awry. Court starts late and finishes early, for the day. Court runs long. Court is not fun and a “win” is hard to come by.

Avoid it if you can. Prepare like you can’t.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Attorney.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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Mississippi & Same Sex Marriage; The End or the Beginning?

Think about this question posed by Federal Court Judge, Carlton Reeves, yesterday:

“What is the state’s rational basis that same-sex couples can’t marry … and its prohibition of same-sex couples from adopting children when all a child wants is to be loved, and they don’t care by whom?”

At least two instances of persons challenging Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage and adoption are now pending before the Federal District Court. A number of Federal Circuit Courts have struck down similar state bans and the trend is growing.

The response to the Judge’s inquiry was “responsible procreation.”  However the days of “having” to be married to procreate have gone out the window. Additionally, it has no bearing on infertile couples, elderly couples or even prisoners, all of whom still have the legal right to marry so long as it is a person of the opposite gender.

Mississippi’s ban, I predict, is the next to be struck down. There’s not a rational basis for gender discrimination when it comes to marriage.  There are arguments on a religious basis and tradition, but neither of these arguments will carry the day, nor will responsible procreation. These cases and the Mississippi law really turn on same-gender arguments and whether there is a rational basis, the legal standard required, to place limitations on the rights of same-gender couples as opposed to purely sexual orientation arguments. Stay tuned.

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Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law attorney, Adjunct Professor of Domestic relations, admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court (pictured above) and predicting a change in Mississippi law very soon.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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How NOT to Hire an Attorney.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, but don’t take things too far..

A recent Craigslist add was seeking to raise funds via a non-traditional manner. Organ sales.  However, this is not your grandmother’s musical instrument.  The add stated, in part;

I am a healthy active 37yr old, 6′ tall white man of strong european bloodline. I am drug a disease free and have two healthy kidneys and all I have left to sell is one of them. I have been going through custody battles for the last 4 years and am flat tapped out of money and property left to sell. My son is my one true love and his mother wont be happy or stop lying until Im out of the picture and she is being helped by a devious liar of an attorney. I wont give up on my son and am willing to do what it takes to stand up for him. I have to give my attorney some money and this is all I can come up with. I am employed and have a job I love, but I need to lay down thousands of dollars at this point, attornies are not cheap. Please help. Call ****** ***-***-**** ALL EMAILS WILL BE DELETED. Thanks.

I do NOT know if the above is legit or not and I assume it is not.  Sacrificing your health and potentially your life is not the way to “win” custody. Also, organ sales are illegal in the U.S.  The National Organ Transplant Act (1984 Pub.L. 98–507), approved October 19, 1984 and amended in 1988 and 1990, outlawed the sale of human organs and provided for the establishment of the Task Force on Organ Transplantation; authorized the Department of Health and Human Services to make grants for the planning, establishment, and initial operation of qualified Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs); and established the formation of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

Don’t sell your organs to hire or pay for your attorney.  There are other solutions if you are completely tapped-out, but this ain’t it.  Read about options if you cannot afford an attorney here.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law attorney and cautions those in legal situations, not to make their circumstances worse.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

 

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How to Leave a Bad Situation.

It’s all to common that I encounter someone in an abusive relationship.  The getting out is the hard part.

Sira Anamwong/ freedigitalphotos.net

It’s usually best to prepare to leave. If possible;

  • Make sure the Children are safe.
  • See a Lawyer.
  • Have some cash.
  • Get valuables, papers and irreplaceables.
  • Get out.

Sometimes it’s not possible to prepare.

  • Get Children
  • Get Out
  • Call the Police
  • IN this Order.

Domestic Violence is real, knows no class boundaries and happens.

Don’t accept it.

Matthew Thompson is a Chancery Court Attorney in Mississippi and advises victims of Domestic Violence to seek protection and press charges.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.

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