State v. Naylor (Opinion)Annotate this Case
Respondents, a same-sex couple who were married in Massachusetts, sought a divorce in Texas. The two women settled their differences, and the trial court orally granted an ostensible divorce pursuant to the parties’ agreement. The State filed a petition in intervention seeking to oppose the petition for divorce and to defend the constitutionality of Texas law that limits divorce actions to persons of the opposite sex who are married to one another. The State argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to render a divorce. The trial court ultimately decided not to entertain the State’s petition, concluding that the attempted intervention was untimely. The court of appeals dismissed the State’s appeal for want of jurisdiction, also ruling that the intervention was untimely. The State sought the Supreme Court’s review, asking the Court to allow the intervention and to vacate the divorce. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals and denied the State’s petition for writ of mandamus, holding that the State failed to secure standing by properly presenting its arguments to the trial court and court of appeals, and consequently, the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to reach those issues.