Thursday, August 30, 2007
Just as many of us are getting to impediments to marriage in our syllabus this semester (and many a candidate is getting to Iowa for votes), a Polk county Iowa district court judge has ruled that Iowa's statute prohibiting same-sex marriage violates due process and equal protection, having no rational relationship to a legitimate government objective. The 62-page decision on a motion for summary judgment has many advantages as a pedagogical tool for examining the subject of same-sex marriage. First, the court addresses the admissibility of testimony of many experts, demonstrating the underlying empirical assertions that are advanced in the argument. Second, the trial court format of separately numbered findings of fact and conclusions of law makes it easy to pinpoint specific issues for discussion.