WASHINGTON — Oral arguments in one of two lawsuits challenging Virginia's ban on same-sex couples marrying will go forward Thursday, with the judge scheduling up to three hours of arguments in the case.
The decision came after last week's news that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed papers in the federal case, Bostic v. Rainey, opposing the constitutionality of the amendment banning such marriages.
After calling for input as to whether arguments were still needed after Herring's move, U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen wrote in an order Monday that "the Court confirms that oral argument on the summary judgment motions and the motion for a preliminary injunction will be heard commencing at 9 AM on Thursday, January 30, 2014."
The plaintiffs — now represented by Ted Olson and David Boies and supported by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, as well as the law firm of Shuttleworth Ruloff Swain Haddad & Morecock, which filed the case — urged the court to decide the matter based on the papers filed with the court.
Three hours of oral arguments are set for Thursday, per Allen's order:
NOTE -- the Court sets the following Order of Presentation for oral argument at the hearing: Counsel for Plaintiffs present opening argument for no more than twenty minutes; Counsel for Defendant Rainey present argument for no more than twenty minutes; Counsel for Defendant Schaefer, III, present argument for no more than thirty minutes; Counsel for Intervenor McQuigg present argument for no more than thirty minutes; Counsel for Amicus The Family Foundation of Virginia present argument for no more than thirty minutes; Counsel for Amici Professors in Support of Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment present argument for no more than thirty minutes; Counsel for Plaintiffs present rebuttal for up to ten minutes; and Counsel for Defendant Rainey present rebuttal for up to ten minutes.
A ruling is not expected Thursday, as Allen wrote, "The pending motions will be taken under further advisement at the close of the hearing."