In the Bourke v. Beshear appeal before the Sixth Circuit, June 16, 2014 was the final filing deadline for briefs of amicus curiae, a fancy Latin way to say "friend of the court." Amicus briefs can be filed by outside parties with some kind of interest in a federal court case. Cases with large social impacts tend to draw large numbers of amici.
Bourke v. Beshear, like similar cases from Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee now before the Sixth Circuit, is such a case. A very large number of outside parties with very diverse interests and perspectives have filed amicus briefs in Bourke, both opposed to Kentucky's marriage laws and in support.
If you have four or five days to kill, you can read all of them. They're available for download below.
Briefs in Support of Defendant-Appellant Steve Beshear, Governor of Kentucky
- The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
- David Boyle
- David A. Robinson
- The Family Trust Foundation of Kentucky, Inc.
- North Carolina Values Coalition and Liberty, Life, and Law Foundation
Briefs in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellees Gregory Bourke, et al.
- Anti-Defamation League, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, et al.
- American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, et al.
- American Sociological Association
- Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
- Professor Carlos Ball
- Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Kentucky, et al.
- Cato Institute and Constitutional Accountability Center
- Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic
- Constitutional Law Scholars
- Employers and Organizations Representing Employers
- Family Equality Council and Colage
- Family Law Professors
- Family Law and Conflict of Laws Professors
- Gary J. Gates
- Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
- GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
- Historians of Antigay Discrimination
- Historians of Marriage
- Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic
- Law Enforcement Officers and Organizations
- Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, et al.
- NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
- National Women's Law Center, Equal Rights Advocates, et al.
- OUTSERVE-SLDN and the American Military Partner Association
- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc.
In all, thirty-one amicus briefs were filed by dozens of groups or individuals in the case of Bourke v. Beshear. Perhaps if the lengthy briefs filed by Governor Beshear and the same-sex couples in the case weren't enough, the Sixth Circuit now has plenty of additional reading to do.
(Disclosure: I am co-counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellees in Bourke.)