Arguments moved up in Philadelphia couple’s marriage case
by Jen Colletta
May 01, 2014 | 826 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A judge agreed late last month to move up oral arguments in one of several pending challenges to Pennsylvania’s ban on marriage equality.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary McLaughlin moved arguments in Palladino v. Corbett to May 15. The hearing had been slated for May 28, but attorneys for Gov. Tom Corbett requested in an April 17 telephone conference that the proceeding be moved up.

Plaintiff attorney Tiffany Palmer said a scheduling conflict on the part of the state prompted the request.

The hearing will take place 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 13-A of the federal courthouse, 601 Market St. It is open to the public.

The case was filed in September by Philadelphia residents Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker, who are seeking to have the state recognize their legal Massachusetts marriage.

The couple filed a motion for summary judgment in January, asking the court to immediately overturn Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs are specifically contending that the stipulation that Pennsylvania deny benefits to couples who are legally married in other jurisdictions is unconstitutional.

The state, meanwhile, requested the case be dismissed in November.

McLaughlin is set to consider arguments for summary judgment and dismissal at the May 15 proceeding.

Last month, she accepted an amicus curiae brief from state Treasurer Rob McCord, who argued that the state ban forces his department to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Also this week, both parties returned to court in a case filed in Northampton County by a woman who was charged inheritance tax on the estate of her late wife. The state Department of Revenue has asked for the case to be dismissed, which attorneys for the plaintiff argued against Tuesday before Northampton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Craig Dally.

Dally will rule on whether the case will proceed next month.

A decision is expected as soon as this month in another federal challenge to Pennsylvania’s law. In that case, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a group of same-sex couples, the judge agreed last month to rule on the briefs rather than take the case to trial.

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