On February 28, 2014, a same-sex couple married outside of the state of Florida filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida against the state of Florida. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. 1983 , declaratory judgment, and costs. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed the state ban against same-sex marriage violated their rights under the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, the First Amendment (right to associate) and violated the Supremacy Clause and the Establishment Clause. This case is captioned Brenner v. Scott.
On March 12, 2014, several same-sex couples married outside of the state of Florida, represented by the ACLU and private counsel, filed essentially an identical lawsuit, also in the Northern District of Florida. This case was Grimsley v. Scott. On April 21, 2014, the Court (Judge Robert L. Hinkle), upon a joint motion, consolidated the two cases for case management purposes. Both are addressed in this summary and Clearinghouse case record. On April 24, 2014, Judge Hinkle denied permission to Florida Family Action, a "cultural action organization" that opposes same-sex marriage, to intervene as a party. FFA could file amicus briefs, however. Brenner v. Scott, 298 F.R.D. 689 (N.D. Fla. 2014).
On August 21, 2014, Judge Hinkle issued a preliminary injunction, finding Florida's ban against same-sex marriage a violation of plaintiffs' fundamental right to marry under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses (using strict scrutiny in the analysis). The Court stayed the preliminary injunction in these cases until 91 days after similar stays are denied or lifted in three cases pending in the 4th and 10th Circuit Courts--Bostic v. Schaefer, 2014 WL 3702493 (4th Cir. July 28, 2014); Bishop v. Smith, 2014 WL 3537847 (10th Cir. July 18, 2014); and Kitchen v. Herbert, 2014 WL 2868044 (10th Cir. June 25, 2014). Brenner v. Scott, -- F.Supp.2d --, 2014 WL 4113100 (N.D. Fla. 2014).
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States declared, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy in reference to the case Obergefell v. Hodges
, that he right to marry was fundamental. In the opinion the Court held that it demeans gay and lesbian couples to deprive them of access to marriage. The 14th Amendment therefore does not allow states to ban same-sex marriage. Kennedy was joined without further writing by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. Each of the four dissenters--Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito--wrote a dissent.
On August 4, 2015, the Brenner v. Scott plaintiffs filed Motion for Summary Judgment, and, on October 19, 2015, the court issued a Court's Order of Dismissal which dismissed the appeal of the original defendants, and transferred consideration of attorney's fees to the District Court. On January 12, 2016, the issue of appellate's attorney's fees was also transferred to the District Court for consideration. Tifani Sadek - 08/26/2014
Faith Sparr - 08/28/2014
Megan Dolan - 10/25/2015