Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

I have been hoping that we'd have some good news on Florida's marriage equality fight to ring in the new year with. This will do!
A judge today cleared the way for Orange County Clerk Tiffany Moore Russell to issue marriage licenses next week to same-sex couples. 
That ruling, by Circuit Judge Tim Shea, appears to mean that gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married at the Orange County courthouse on Jan. 6, the first day that becomes legal under a landmark federal ruling in Tallahassee. 
Moore Russell had filed suit yesterday in the courthouse where she works, asking a judge to give her instructions on what to do. 
A Tallahassee federal judge has declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and ordered his ruling implemented Jan. 6. 
But the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers two weeks ago told its members statewide not to issue the licenses, and Moore Russell said at the time that she would follow that advice. 
Behind the scenes, though, she was working on the problem. Yesterday she filed a petition, asking Shea to clarify what she should do. 
During the lunch hour today he issued an order, ruling that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, that Moore Russell may rely on the Tallahassee federal ruling as "the law of Florida" and may begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Jan. 6. 
If she does, she would not be breaking the law or violating her oath of office, Shea wrote. In fact, she'd probably be saving Orange County money because if she refuses, she would likely be sued. 
In a legal maneuver designed to clear the way for all Florida court clerks to issue marriage licenses, two Orlando-area couples – one gay, the other lesbian – on Monday filed suit, asking a Daytona Beach appeals court to order Moore Russell to give them marriage licenses on Tuesday.
Aren't we supposed to get holidays off?

This blog got way way over a million hits in 2014, hundreds of thousands every month! So a big thank you to everyone who visits and contributes here. On behalf of SFL, GB and myself, we wish you all peace, joy, equality, and prosperity in 2015!


Anonymous said...


- GB

Juan Ramirez, Jr., Former Chief Judge said...

I am going to try posting again to my old blog after a year's absence. I got too busy leaving JAMS and starting my own LLC, plus joining Diaz Reus & Targ.

Anonymous said...

Juan, please do not troll or market here. It's in poor taste. A little self respect goes a long way . Good luck trying to sustain a practice and not keep hopping around. Tough off the bench, eh?

Juan Ramirez, Jr., Former Chief Judge said...

Actually, Mr. Anonymous, I have been welcomed on this blog by the author. If he has a problem with my postings, I will be glad to stay out. The fact that I am promoting my own blog does not in any way compete or detract from this blog. I left JAMS after two years and the bench after 24 years. I don't consider that hopping around. And I am doing quite well off the bench, thank you. Unlike you, I don't have a problem signing my name.

Anonymous said...

Nor do you have a problem prostituting your former role as "chief judge" by signing with that. It cheapens the practice and the court.

-Not that other anonymous.

Godwhacker said...

This entire blog is clever marketing tool for Spencer!

South Florida Lawyers said...

Welcome back Judge!