On January 21st a number of ministers and concerned citizens filed a lawsuit in the Chancery Court of Williamson County over a purely legal issue resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage June 26, 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges. David Fowler, on behalf of the Constitutional Government Defense Fund, represents them.
The legal question is really very straightforward: If Tennessee’s current marriage license law, passed in 1995, is unconstitutional, which is what the Obergefell Court ruled, then who passed the new law to replace the old one? Courts can’t pass laws, and the legislature has not passed a new law since last June, so it stands to reason that there is no marriage licensure law in Tennessee.
In this lawsuit, the plaintiff pastors have asked our state court system to “declare” what the law is. That way they can clearly know if the marriage ceremonies they have performed or will be performing are actually of any legal effect. They are merely trying to protect the rights and interests of the couples who come to them thinking that they are getting married when maybe they are not.
Certain citizens have also alleged that the issuance of licenses not authorized by the legislature violates their rights under the state Constitution in that these actions deny them, among other things, their right to vote for the legislators who, under the state Constitution, are alone authorized to “prescribe the duties” of the County Clerks.
The lawsuit calls attention to the fact that if everyone continues to pretend that the Supreme Court can “pass” a law to replace an existing law that the Court rules invalid, then we will no longer be living under the rule of law but under pretend laws made by judges who pretend to be legislators.
Who knows what law the federal courts may next tell our state it must have? You may find of interest how the language in Obergefell could even lead to a state income tax if it is not challenged and reversed.
To learn what you can do to support the lawsuit and other efforts to challenge the Obergefell ruling, go to the Reclaiming Our Liberty main page. Read the PDF of the Lawsuit that was filed on January 21, 2016.