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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bishop v. United States PB-OK-0001
Docket / Court 4:04-cv-00848-TCK-TLW ( N.D. Okla. )
State/Territory Oklahoma
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
Plaintiffs are lesbian couples who filed suit on November 3, 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, against the United States and the State of Oklahoma, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Article 2 § 35 of ... read more >
Plaintiffs are lesbian couples who filed suit on November 3, 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, against the United States and the State of Oklahoma, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Article 2 § 35 of the Oklahoma Constitution (the "Oklahoma Amendment," which bans same-sex marriage being issued in Oklahoma and acknowledging same-sex marriages issued in other states) violate the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs allege that DOMA and the Oklahoma Amendment violate the Due Process, Equal Protection, Full Faith and Credit, and Privileges and Immunities Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

In August 2006, the Court denied a motion to dismiss filed by the Oklahoma Attorney General and Oklahoma Governor, rejecting their sovereign immunity argument. The state officials appealed and the Court stayed the proceedings pending appeal.

On June 5, 2009, the Tenth Circuit issued an unpublished decision reversing the Court's failure to dismiss the claims against the Oklahoma officials and remanding the case for entry of an order dismissing the claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Tenth Circuit's reversal was based on Plaintiffs' lack of standing to pursue their claims against the named state officials. On November 24, 2009, the Court dismissed Oklahoma from the case.

The remaining defendants, the United States and the Tulsa County Clerk, filed a motion to dismiss on October 13, 2009. On February 25, 2011, prior to the Court's issuing a decision on the pending motions to dismiss, the United States notified the Court that it would cease defending the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA, thereby abandoning other portions of its previously filed motion to dismiss. On July 21, 2011, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives filed a motion to intervene "as a defendant for the limited purpose of defending Section 3."

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court issued its decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), (PB-NY-0017 in this Clearinghouse), which held that Section 3 of DOMA violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, 133 S. Ct. 2652 (2013), (PB-CA-0029 in this Clearinghouse), which held that the official proponents of Proposition 8 lacked standing.

On January 14, 2014, the Court granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs, finding that the Oklahoma ban on same-sex marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause. The Court entered an order permanently enjoining enforcement of the ban against same-sex couples seeking a marriage license. But, it wrote "in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court's issuance of a stay in a nearly identical case on appeal from the District Court
of Utah to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, see Herbert v. Kitchen (Jan. 6, 2014), the Court stays execution of this injunction pending the final disposition of any appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals." The Court held that it lacked jurisdiction over the Section 3 of DOMA.

On January 16, 2014, the Tulsa County Clerk appealed the Court's decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and on January 24, 2014, the plaintiffs appealed the Court's decision as to DOMA. The appeals court issued its decision on the first of these appeals on July 18, 2014, affirming the District Court's decision that same-sex marriage violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights. The main opinion was by Judge Carlos Lucero; Judge Jerome Holmes joined, and Judge Paul Kelly dissented. The Court stayed its decision pending resolution of a petition for review in the Supreme Court. Bishop v. Smith, 2014 WL 3537847 (N.D. Oklahoma 2014). On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of certiorari. Smith v. Bishop, 135 S. Ct. 271, 190 L. Ed. 2d 139 (2014).

On October 6, 2014, the Court issued an order lifting the stay on its original mandate and permanently enjoined the Defendant from enforcing the Oklahoma Amendment to deny any same-sex couples marriage licenses based solely on their status as a same-sex couple.

The case continues only as to litigation for attorney's fees for the appeal.

Darren Miller - 11/27/2012
Carlos Torres - 05/13/2013
Claire Lally - 03/16/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Oklahoma
Tulsa County Clerk
United States
Plaintiff Description Two same-sex couples in Oklahoma; one seeking to be married, the other seeking recognition of their Vermont civil union.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2014 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Limited Partnership
http://www.limitedpartnershipmovie.com/
By: Thomas G. Miller
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage is Valid
The Pride L.A.
Written: Jun. 07, 2016
By: Troy Masters
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:04-cv-848 (N.D. Okla.) 07/18/2014
PB-OK-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/03/2004
PB-OK-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motions to Dismiss] 07/20/2006 (2006 WL 2045877) (N.D. Okla.)
PB-OK-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Amended Opinion and Order 08/14/2006 (447 F.Supp.2d 1239) (N.D. Okla.)
PB-OK-0001-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Motion to Stay] 10/30/2006 (N.D. Okla.)
PB-OK-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Judgment [USCA Reversing and Remanding Case] 06/05/2009 (333 Fed.Appx. 361)
PB-OK-0001-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint 08/10/2009
PB-OK-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss] 11/24/2009 (2009 WL 4505951) (N.D. Okla.)
PB-OK-0001-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Motion for Summary Judgment and Brief in Support 09/28/2011
PB-OK-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Dismiss by United States of America and Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General 10/19/2011
PB-OK-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Intervenor-Defendant's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment 10/19/2011
PB-OK-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Recent Legal Developments of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives 01/04/2013
PB-OK-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 01/14/2014 (2014 WL 116013) (N.D. Okla.)
PB-OK-0001-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
[Opinion] 07/18/2014 (760 F.3d 1070)
PB-OK-0001-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 10/06/2014 (N.D. Okla.)
PB-OK-0001-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Holmes, Jerome A. (Tenth Circuit)
PB-OK-0001-0009 | PB-OK-0001-0014
Kelly, Paul Joseph Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
PB-OK-0001-0014
Kern, Terence C. (N.D. Okla.)
PB-OK-0001-0006 | PB-OK-0001-0007 | PB-OK-0001-0008 | PB-OK-0001-0011 | PB-OK-0001-0012 | PB-OK-0001-0015 | PB-OK-0001-9000
Lucero, Carlos F. (Tenth Circuit)
PB-OK-0001-0014
McKay, Monroe G. (Tenth Circuit)
PB-OK-0001-0009
O'Brien, Terrence L. (Tenth Circuit)
PB-OK-0001-0009
Wilson, T. Lane (N.D. Okla.) [Magistrate]
PB-OK-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bailey, Phillip Craig (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Bridger-Riley, N. Kay (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-0001 | PB-OK-0001-9000
Eakens, Laura Lea (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Holladay, Don G. (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-0004 | PB-OK-0001-0010 | PB-OK-0001-9000
Studebaker, Timothy P. (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Tucker, Roy Duane (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Warner, James E. (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-0004 | PB-OK-0001-0010 | PB-OK-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Babione, Byron J. (Arizona)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Bartolomucci, H. Christopher (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0003 | PB-OK-0001-0005 | PB-OK-0001-9000
Campbell, James A. (Arizona)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Carmichael, Holly L. (Arizona)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Clement, Paul D. (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0003 | PB-OK-0001-0005
Davenport, Christine (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0005
Doughty, Stefan K (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Dugan, Conor Brendan (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0003
Goldberg, Arthur Robert (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0002
Iski, David Thomas (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Kircher, Kerry W. (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0005 | PB-OK-0001-9000
Kulmacz, Martha Ruth (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Littleton, Judson O. (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Luton, John David (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Martin, Angela K (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
McGinley, Michael H. (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0005
Nelson, Nicholas J. (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0003 | PB-OK-0001-0005
Nimocks, Austin R. (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Olsson, Brently C. (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Pittard, William (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0005
Raum, Brian W. (Arizona)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Rinehart, Sandra D. (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Roumel, Eleni M. (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0005
Schowengerdt, Dale (Arizona)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Simpson, W. Scott (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0002 | PB-OK-0001-9000
Tatelman, Todd B. (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0005
Theriot, Kevin H. (Kansas)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Walker, Mary Beth (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0005
West, Tony (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0002
Woodward, Thomas Scott (District of Columbia)
PB-OK-0001-0002
Wyrick, Andrea Marie (Oklahoma)
PB-OK-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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