Some of the media coverage of the Texas Supreme Court's resolution of the Attorney General's appeal of the same-sex divorce decree granted by a judge in Austin has created the impression the Texas now recognizes same-sex divorce even though it does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Attorney General Ken Paxton himself contributed to that mis-perception by issuing a press-release accusing the state supreme court of having "effectively" recognized same-sex divorce in its June 19, 2015 ruling.
Justice Willett would have exempted the Attorney General from having to play by the same rules that other intervenors (or would-be intervenors) have to abide by, and would have modified the common law to create "equitable standing" for the attorney general to attack the validity of the final decree that the trial court entered based on the parties' agreement. But only two of his colleagues signed on to his proposed ad hoc modification of the common law to favor the State in a private dispute that the parties had resolved to their mutual satisfaction.
Interestingly, none of the four opinions issued in the case acknowledges that it is the policy of the State of Texas to favor the amicable resolution of disputes, and that the Attorney General forced the parties into protracted appellate litigation that Naylor and Daly had sought to avoid by making peace with each other.
Click for link to all opinions here.
|June 19, 2015 Texas Supreme Court Orders List |
High Court hands down decision in same-sex divorce case from Austin,
affirms intermediate court's dismissal of Attorney General's appeal for lack of jurisdiction
Links to related blog posts by others:
Why the Texas Supreme Court did not authorize same-sex marriage under Texas law (law firm blog post)