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3 Issues to Watch in the 10th Circuit: SS Marriage, Abortion, Weed

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on April 18, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Usually one of the quieter circuits, the Tenth Circuit is now giving legal professionals something to talk about.

With cases percolating, and being argued before the Tenth Circuit (with almost-certain cert petitions following soon), three big issues have come to the forefront in the circuit home to states across the ideological board -- Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

Here's what you need to know about the big three issues to watch in the Tenth Circuit.

1. Same Sex Marriage

On the heels of last week's oral arguments before the Tenth Circuit dealing with Utah's ban on same sex marriages, the very same panel of the Tenth Circuit yesterday heard more oral arguments on the issue -- this time dealing with challenges to Oklahoma's law banning same sex marriages, reports The Oklahoman. In this case, the state is appealing a district court's ruling that the law was unconstitutional.

The hope, in both cases, is to get the issue before the Supreme Court next term so the High Court could decide once and for all, for all fifty states, whether laws banning same sex marriage are constitutional.

2. Medical Marijuana

Recreation and medical use of marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but that doesn't mean that authorities are not keeping a close eye on operations in the name of public safety. Following federal raids last year, state officials are moving to shut down a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver after findings of problematic practices, reports The Denver Post. Those in the business should proceed with caution, and keep an eye on how this notice of denial progresses.

Abortion Restrictions

Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Senate, in a 37-5 vote, passed a law "prohibit[ing] off-label uses of certain abortion-inducing drugs by requiring doctors to administer the drugs only in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol," reports The Kansas City Star. A similar law passed in 2011 was found unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court; this time legislators clearly stated that the intent was not to ban abortions, though it's hard to see what other intent there is.

We will keep you updated as these issues continue to make waves in the Tenth Circuit.

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