University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Jernigan v. Crane PB-AR-0004
Docket / Court 4:13-cv-00410-KGB ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On July 15, 2013, three same-sex couples filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the constitutionality of Arkansas's laws prohibiting the marriage of same-sex couples and forbidding the recognition of legitimate same-sex ... read more >
On July 15, 2013, three same-sex couples filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the constitutionality of Arkansas's laws prohibiting the marriage of same-sex couples and forbidding the recognition of legitimate same-sex marriages entered into in other states. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that Amendment 83 of the Arkansas Constitution violates plaintiffs' rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Two of the plaintiff couples sought to marry under the laws of Arkansas. The third plaintiff couple, married under the laws of New York, sought recognition of their marriage in Arkansas. Specifically, the plaintiffs asked the court to declare that Amendment 83 and other Arkansas laws denying same-sex couples from marrying are unconstitutional, and to require that the State permit same-sex couples to marry and recognize same-sex couples married under the laws of other states.

On July 18, 2013, Judge James Leon Holmes recused himself from the case due to long-standing, close personal and professional relationships with the drafters of Arkansas Amendment 83.

The defendants answered on November 21, 2013 and moved to dismiss the complaint. Plaintiffs then moved for summary judgment. The court (Judge Kristine G. Baker) heard both motions on November 20, 2014 and issued its opinion and order on November 25, 2014. Judge Baker struck down Arkansas' gay-marriage ban as unconstitutional on the basis that it restricted the plaintiffs' fundamental right to marry and that the laws do not survive strict scrutiny, meaning the laws unconstitutionally deny consenting adult same-sex couples their fundamental right to marry in violation of the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, the district court put its ruling on hold pending a timely appeal to the Eight Circuit.

Argument is set both in this case and in two other same-sex marriage cases, Lawson v. State of Missouri (PB-MO-0006 in this Clearinghouse) and Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard (PB-SD-0001 in this Clearinghouse), for the second week of May 2015.

Carlyn Williams - 11/01/2013
Alex Wharton - 12/02/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Attorney General's Office
County Clerk's Office
Governor of Arkansas
Plaintiff Description Two lesbian couples wishing to marry and a gay couple married under the laws of New York seek recognition of their marriage under the state laws of Arkansas challenge Arkansas's prohibition on same-sex marriage.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
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
Case Listing PB-MO-0006 : Lawson v. Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds (W.D. Mo.)
PB-SD-0001 : Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard (D.S.D.)
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)
4:13-cv-00410-KGB (E.D. Ark.) 11/25/2014
PB-AR-0004-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 07/15/2013
PB-AR-0004-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Recusal 07/18/2013 (E.D. Ark.)
PB-AR-0004-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Opinion 11/25/2014 (E.D. Ark.)
PB-AR-0004-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Baker, Kristine Gerhard (E.D. Ark.)
PB-AR-0004-0003 | PB-AR-0004-9000
Holmes, James Leon (E.D. Ark.)
PB-AR-0004-0001 | PB-AR-0004-0002
Kearney, Jesse L Court not on record
PB-AR-0004-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cowan, Sarah (Arkansas)
PB-AR-0004-9000
Mann, Angela Griffith (Arkansas)
PB-AR-0004-0001 | PB-AR-0004-9000
Maples, Cheryl (Arkansas)
PB-AR-0004-9000
Pike, R. Keith (Arkansas)
PB-AR-0004-0001 | PB-AR-0004-9000
Wagoner, Jack III (Arkansas)
PB-AR-0004-0001 | PB-AR-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fuqua, David M. (Arkansas)
PB-AR-0004-9000
Mahfouz, Nga (Arkansas)
PB-AR-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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