FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2014
Media contact: Sheryl McAlister (Twitter @SMcAlister2014)
Supreme Court Paves Way for Bradacs v. Haley
Attorneys hope South Carolina won’t defend that which the Courts have declared indefensible
COLUMBIA — South Carolina attorneys Carrie Warner and John Nichols today expressed excitement over the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear appeals regarding same-sex marriage in 5 states.
Warner and Nichols are lead attorneys in the case that could set the stage for a showdown between marriage equality advocates and the State of South Carolina. The ruling is another significant step toward full marriage equality in one of the country’s most conservative states.
“We are excited that the US Supreme Court declined to hear any of the petitions for review,” Warner and Nichols said in a joint statement. “The ruling means the stays the Court had in place are now dissolved, and the Circuit Court opinions become the law of each circuit.”
Warner and Nichols are the pro-bono attorneys for Katie Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin, who filed suit a year ago in Federal District Court. The suit seeks to allow the couple’s legal marriage to be recognized in South Carolina and seeks to overturn South Carolina’s 2007 Constitutional Amendment against marriage equality.
“Our case is pending before Judge Michelle Childs,” Warner and Nichols continued. “And Judge Childs must follow the mandate of the Fourth Circuit. She will apply the law as set forth by the (Virginia) Bostic decision. We cannot predict what the State of South Carolina will do, but we hope the State will not waste valuable resources defending that which the Courts have declared is not defensible.”
Harriet Hancock, longtime LGBT activist, retired SC attorney and board member of The Will of the People, said: “As an attorney and activist I have been working toward this day for many years.
“I never believed I would live to see same-sex marriage in South Carolina, and I am weeping tears of joy. This is good news for South Carolina, and we celebrate the decision today.
“But,” she added “This is not good news for those states that will not see the ban lifted by this decision. Until same-sex marriage is allowed nationally, it creates a legal morass for same-sex couples in all states, whether they are married or wishing to be married. There’s lots of work still to be done”.
The Will of the People, a grass roots group organized to raise funds to support the legal defense of this couple and others like them in South Carolina, has established The Will of the People Fund at Wells Fargo Bank in South Carolina. Checks should be made payable to The Will of the People Fund and may be mailed to The Will of the People Fund, PO Box 5006, Columbia, SC 29250. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.
The Will of the People, formed in 2014 by a group of mostly middle-aged, concerned citizens, has a singular focus on South Carolina’s marriage equality fight. Learn more about The Will of the People and The Will of the People Fund: On Facebook at The Will of the People Fund & on Twitter @RealWOTPFund. And by reading “The Will of the People … And Mothers” & “SC Couple Continues Fight for Marriage Equality” at https://oldbroadnewtrix.com/ .
John Nichols is a partner in the law firm of Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson and Delgado. His areas of expertise include litigation support and appeals, business litigation, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice and criminal defense. Learn more about John Nichols at http://www.bntdlaw.com .
Carrie Warner is a partner in the law firm of Warner, Payne & Black. Her practice focuses on family, probate, civil litigation and appellate practice. Learn more about Carrie Warner at http://www.carriewarner.com .