Kansas Supremes Hear JoCo Same Sex Case in Private
November 17, 2014

The Kansas Supreme Court met in private Monday to consider whether or not Johnson County Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty overstepped his authority in a same sex marriage case.
Kansas Attorney general Derek Schmidt’s office argues Moriarty had no authority to issue an order permitting Johnson County officials to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.
Schmidt’s office moved immediately to block Moriarty’s order and only a few marriage license applications were ever issued to Johnson County same-sex couples.
Marriages are being issued, however to same sex couples in Douglas and Sedgwick continues because those counties are involved in a separate samesex case at the federal level.
Moriarty made the order in the wake of a federal appeals court ruling striking down the constitutional bans on same sex marriage in Oklahoma and Utah. The 10th Federal Circuit did not strike down the Kansas constitutional ban, although the laws are similar.
University of Kansas Law Profession Rick Levy said the fact that the Justices did not hear oral arguments in the Johnson County case is not unusual.
“The main take-away may be the Justices don’t think they need oral arguments to decide the case. But that would imply they don’t think the case is especially difficult, either,” Levy told KMBC TV .
Levy also believes that the ruling from the Kansas justices will be quick, perhaps by the end of the week.
Levy, who’s expertise is constitutional law, says it is possible the Kansas High Court uses the Johnson County case to expand marriage rights for same sex couples to all 105 counties in Kansas.
“If that’s true for the counties other than Johnson–If that’s true for the counties other than Douglas and Segwick, the it’s true for Johnson County. Ad if it’s true for Johnson County, it could be true for all the counties in the state,” Levy said.