Al Gerhardstein

On most Sundays, this space is devoted to partisan politics.

Not this Sunday. This Sunday it is time to step back and look at the long career of a man who transcended politics – Senior Judge S. Arthur Spiegel of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio. 

He passed away this past week at the age of 94. And, when word came out of his passing, there was a profound sense of loss among his friends, his fellow judges, and the many lawyers who appeared before him over the past 34 years – Democrat and Republican alike.

npr.org

  Tension has been running high in Ferguson, Missouri as the community awaits a decision from a grand jury on whether a  police officer will be indicted for the shooting death of an unarmed black teen. Some experts say there could be riots similar to what happened in Los Angeles in 1992 in the Rodney King case if there's no indictment.

Michael Keating/Cincinnati Police Dept.

  

Provided

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in six separate cases involving four states.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider challenges to state same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Michigan.

So many reporters and court observers are expected the court will have two overflow rooms with live audio streaming of the oral arguments.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is appealing two local cases:

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Six Cincinnati same-sex couples have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against The Director of the Ohio Department of Health and the Director of the Hamilton County Probate Court .

The suit seeks to "secure for same-sex couples across Ohio the right to marry on an equal basis with opposite-sex couples."

The Plaintiffs are Michelle Gibson and Deborah Meem; Heather Apple and Mary Koehler; Ronald Kastner Beck and Dave Beck; Andrew Hickman and Ethan Fletcher; Gary Goodman and Karl Rece, Jr.; and Rhonda Craig and Kendra Dukes.

U.S. Government

Federal Judge Timothy Black  has decided Ohio's same sex marriage recognition ban will remain in place while his decision is being appealed. (meaning same-sex couples cannot go to other states, get married and have those marriages recognized in Ohio during the appeal of this case) The exception is the four couples who sued. Their marriages will be recognized and their names will go on the birth certificates of their children.

From Judge Timothy Black's decision

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Federal Judge Timothy Black ruled as he said he was going to, striking down a portion of Ohio's gay marriage ban that blocks recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. (there is a stay on the order except for the four couples involved. Attorney Al Gerhardstein says the earliest the stay would be lifted is Wednesday.)

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Monday is the day Federal Judge Timothy Black says he will rule in the case of four same-sex couples who want to get their names on their children's birth certificates.

Their request goes beyond what attorney Al Gerhardstein had originally asked in the February lawsuit. He broadened it to request the judge strike down a portion of Ohio's gay marriage ban, passed by voters in 2004.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Update: Federal Judge Timothy Black says he will issue a ruling by April 14 striking down a portion of Ohio's gay marriage ban passed by voters in 2004. Attorney Al Gerhardstein, representing plaintiffs in a lawsuit about birth certificates, amended his request to ask Black to declare all aspects of Ohio's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. (except the part about getting married in Ohio, because his clients were already married) In federal court Friday morning, the judge said he would do that.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A lawsuit filed Monday in Cincinnati seeks a federal court order requiring Ohio to put the names of both people in same-sex marriages on the birth certificates of their children.

The plaintiffs include three lesbian couples who were married in other states where same-sex marriage is legal. All live in Greater Cincinnati. One of the women in each marriage is pregnant through artificial insemination. The babies will be born in Cincinnati hospitals in the next few months.

They are represented by attorney Al Gerhardstein.

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