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Michigan Same Sex Marriage, Remembering Judge Kennedy, and More

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on June 04, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

There's a lot happening in the Sixth Circuit. With the status of Michigan's same sex marriage status up in the air, a new lawsuit has been filed by the ACLU. What will the fate of the couples married in the small window of time when same sex marriage was legal in the state?

We also remember a former Sixth Circuit judge who broke boundaries and look at what influences federal judges.

Michigan Same Sex Marriage

Back in March, a federal judge struck down Michigan's same sex marriage ban, and three days later, the Sixth Circuit stayed the federal judge's opinion pending appeal. In that small window of time, about 300 same sex couples were married, and now the ACLU has filed a new action seeking to force Michigan to recognize the same sex marriages that took place during that window. Last Thursday, the ACLU filed a request for an injunction, and the state has not yet responded, reports MLive.

Judge Cornelia G. Kennedy

Last month, Judge Cornelia G. Kennedy, former federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, passed away. A woman of many firsts, she was the first woman clerk for the D.C. Court of Appeals, first woman chief judge of a federal district court, and "the first woman to serve on the Judicial Conference of the United States," reports The Washington Post.

Judicial Bias

A new study looked at how a judge's life experience affects their judicial rulings, and two scholars looked at a part of judicial life where judges have no control -- the gender of their children. According to the study of judges on U.S. Courts of Appeal, "having at least one daughter means that a judge will be about 7 percentage points more likely to vote in sort of a feminist direction on gender related cases. Things like employment discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, abortion, [and] Title IX," reports NPR.

The study concluded, that in order to reflect the diverse society coming before the courts, the judiciary must be more diverse so their varied life experiences will be reflective of the general public's.

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