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SCOTUS Issues Orders, Denies Adar Full Faith and Credit Appeal

By Robyn Hagan Cain on October 11, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Supreme Court issued orders this morning granting review in two cases, and denied cert in Lambda Legal's appeal in Adar v. Smith.

In 2007, same-sex parents Oren Adar and Mickey Smith, sought an amended birth certificate for their Louisiana-born son. Despite a Louisiana law that provides for amended birth certificates to reflect adoptive parents' names, Louisiana State Registrar Darlene Smith refused the request because the adoption could not have legally occurred in Louisiana. Adar and Smith, who have a legally valid adoption decree from New York, sued to compel the state to amend the birth certificate under the Full Faith and Credit clause.

Earlier this year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Adar v. Smith that Smith was not required to issue the amended birth certificate. In its ruling, the Fifth Circuit found that the Full Faith and Credit clause applied to courts, but not to state officials.

Lambda Legal, representing Adar and Smith, hoped to challenge that ruling in the Supreme Court. In response to the Supreme Court's denial today, the organization said, "This decision leaves adopted children and their parents vulnerable in their interactions with officials from other states."

The denial is also disappointing for marriage equality advocates hoping that a Supreme Court ruling reversing Adar would lead to full faith and credit recognition of same-sex marriage. All judicial efforts in that arena now will be focused on the Perry v. Brown appeal.

The two cases in which the Supreme Court granted review today are Blueford v. Arkansas, a double jeopardy appeal from the Arkansas Supreme Court, and Freeman v. Quicken Loans Inc., a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act fees case from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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