Waters v. Ricketts, No. 15-1452 (8th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs are same-sex couples seeking to marry in Arkansas, South Dakota, or Nebraska or to have their marriage in another state recognized in those states. They also sought state benefits incident to marriage. The district court granted Plaintiffs summary judgment, finding that state laws denying them the right to marry violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection. While the appeal was pending, the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges, (2015), abrogating Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning (2006). The Eighth Circuit affirmed. The challenged laws are unconstitutional. As Obergefell concluded: [T]he right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.