Federal Appeals Court Sets Quick Schedule For Virginia Marriage Appeal

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals allows couples represented by the ACLU and Lambda Legal to join in the case brought by couples represented by Ted Olson and David Boies. Case slated for arguments in mid-May.

WASHINGTON — The appeals court considering whether Virginia's ban on same-sex couples' marriages is constitutional has set a quick schedule to consider the case in coming months.

Several big-name LGBT rights organizations and lawyers will all be filing briefs when the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals considers the case — a move the lawyers for the same-sex couples in the case had opposed.

The opening briefs in the appeal of the case backed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which was behind the challenge to California's Proposition 8, are due March 28. Responses are due April 11, with the reply due on April 30. The case is tentatively scheduled to be argued before the appeals court the week of May 12.

In addition to setting the schedule for the case, though, the court also Monday granted the motion filed by lawyers from Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, along with Jenner & Block partner Paul Smith, to intervene and file briefs for other same-sex couples who are plaintiffs in a second marriage lawsuit.

The Lambda and ACLU-backed couples, whose case is still before a trial judge, had asked the court to intervene in the appeal of the AFER-backed case — a move the AFER-back plaintiffs, represented by Ted Olson and David Boies, opposed.

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