Sixth Circuit Ignores Supremacy Of U.S. Constitution, Upholds Bans On Marriage Equality In Four States

Washington, DC – On news this afternoon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld bans on equal access to marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center – which filed “friend of the court” briefs defending marriage equality at the court together with the libertarian/conservative Cato Institute – issued the following reaction:


CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra said, “The majority opinion by Judge Jeffrey Sutton fundamentally misunderstands the text and history of the Fourteenth Amendment, barely engaging with the words and meaning of the Constitution.  If he had taken the time to consider the Constitution’s text and history, he would have discovered that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees marriage equality for everyone.”


CAC Civil Rights Director David H. Gans continued, “There is no ‘will of the majority’ exception to the Constitution.  Unfortunately, today’s opinion by Judge Sutton creates one, ignoring that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equality under the law to all persons to prevent majorities from discriminating against disfavored minorities.”






Constitutional Accountability Center, joined by the Cato Institute, filed “friend of the court” briefs at the Sixth Circuit in the following cases:


DeBoer v. Snyder: 


Bourke v. Beshear: 


Tanco v. Haslam: 


Constitutional Accountability Center, joined by the Cato Institute, filed a “friend of the court” brief in the Fifth Circuit case Robicheaux v. Caldwell, specifically addressing arguments used in today’s Sixth Circuit ruling:


“Faulty Federalism: Constitutional Misconceptions in the Newly Emerging Arguments Against Marriage Equality,” David H. Gans, Constitutional Accountability Center, October 2014: 


“Despite top court, marriage inequality remains,” CAC Vice President Judith E. Schaeffer, USA Today, October 7, 2014: 


“Libertarians’ Relationship With Same-Sex Marriage Gets Serious,” Chris Geidner, Buzzfeed, October 24, 2014: 




Constitutional Accountability Center ( is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.