Sevcik v. Sandoval
On September 8, 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in this Nevada case seeking the freedom to marry. The case is fully briefed.
On February 10, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto filed a motion requesting to withdraw her brief, in which she had argued in favor of banning same-sex couples from marrying, but in her withdrawal, she explained, "After thorough analysis and review, the arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable." The decision was sparked by a January 21 ruling in a separate case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals finding that gay people could not be excluded from juries because of their sexuality. Essentially, the case found that sexual orientation is a class protected by heightened scrutiny - and legal prognosticators had explained immediately following the ruling that it could dramatically alter the Sevcik v. Sandoval case.
On April 10, 2012, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a federal lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry for eight same-sex couples in Nevada who had been denied marriage licenses. Shortly after, a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Nevada agreed to hear the case, permitting the so-called Coalition for the Protection of Marriage to intervene as a defendant.
On November 29, 2012, Judge Robert C. Jones ruled against Nevada's same-sex couples, saying that the state's current laws do not violate the Equal Protection Clause. Just days later, on December 3, 2012, Lambda Legal appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.