In re Conde-Vidal, No. 16-1313 (1st Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Petitioners, a group of individuals and advocacy groups, filed a petition challenging the constitutionality of Article 68 of the Civil Code of Puerto Rico and other laws of the Commonwealth that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. After the lower court dismissed Petitioners’ claims, the United States Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges. All parties subsequently agreed that the Commonwealth’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The First Circuit agreed and vacated the judgment. On remand, however, the district court did not enter judgment in favor of Petitioners but, instead, issued a memorandum concluding that the Commonwealth’s ban was not unconstitutional because the “right to same-sex marriage” had not been determined to apply in Puerto Rico. Petitioners requested a writ of mandamus requiring the district court to enter judgment in their favor striking down the ban as unconstitutional. Respondents moved for leave to join in Petitioners’ request. The First Circuit granted Petitioners’ petition for writ of mandamus and Respondents’ motion to join in the petition, holding that the district court erred in ruling that the ban is not unconstitutional and directly contradicted the First Circuit’s mandate and compounded its error by failing to enter a final judgment to enable an appeal in ordinary course.