Court accepts McCord brief

Court accepts McCord brief

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A federal judge presiding over a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage this week agreed to accept the Pennsylvania treasurer’s friend-of-the-court brief filed in support of the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin ordered on April 15 that Treasurer Rob McCord’s amicus curiae brief could be incorporated into the case.

McCord submitted the filing March 24 in what was believed to be a first for a state treasurer. McCord argued that the state’s ban on marriage equality and denial of rights and benefits to couples legally married outside of Pennsylvania has detrimental financial effects on Pennsylvania citizens.

The treasurer told PGN that he sought to shed light on the myriad impacts that the state law has on departments such as his.

McLaughlin wrote in her order that she was allowing McCord to submit the brief because he offered contextual information that no parties had yet raised.

“It appears that the movant is presenting information to the court that is not in the briefs of either the plaintiffs or the defendants,” McLaughlin wrote.

The case was filed by Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker last summer. The Philadelphia residents were legally married in Massachusetts and are seeking to have the Keystone State recognize their union.

Also on Tuesday, McLaughlin again denied antigay Conshohocken resident James Schneller’s attempt to intervene in the case. Schneller, who is seeking to become an intervenor in every pending challenge to the state’s marriage law, first sought to intervene in the Palladino case in January but was denied in March. Later that month, he filed a motion for reconsideration, which McLaughlin denied, and recently submitted an application to amend his original petition, which the judge again refused.

She said Schneller has “not raised any of the reasons that would justify the court’s reconsideration of its earlier order.”

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