Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Officiate at Same-Sex Marriage With Michigan Ties
September 3rd, 2014, 10:02 AM
Judges officiate at weddings all the time. But this weekend in New York, the ceremony will have a bit of a different twist.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will officiate at the wedding for two men with Michigan connections.
One, Danny Rubens, a former Ginsburg law clerk, is originally from Ann Arbor, according to his Facebook page. He attended Harvard University Law School. The other person, Danny Grossman, attended the University of Michigan Law School.
The Supreme Court, through its public information officer Kathy Arberg, responded to Deadline Detroit’s inquiry by writing: “Justice Ginsburg will not have any comment beyond confirming she will officiate at the wedding of Danny Rubens and Danny Grossman this weekend.”
The wedding comes at an interesting time when same-sex marriage has become a hot-button issue that’s expected to ultimately be resolved before the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia and 19 states, including New York.
It's not the first same sex-marriage wedding Justice Ginsburg, 81, has officiated at. An Associated Press article in October 2013, reported that Ginsburg had officiated at three same-sex marriages. It also reported that retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor officiated at a gay marriage at the Supreme Court in October 2013.
Regardless of her officiating at same-sex weddings, there's probably little mystery, how Justice Ginsburg stands on the issue. A reliable liberal appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton, it would be hard to imagine her going against a same-sex marriage case before the court.
In an interview in July with the Associated Press, she said she expected the same-sex marriage issue to be heard and decided by June 2016, if not a year earlier.
She also noted in the interview that attitudes in the country have swiftly changed in favor of same-sex marriage.
Robert A. Sedler, a Constitutional Law professor at Wayne State University, says Ginsburg's officiating won't create any conflict of interest issues before the court.
"She has the authority under New York law to preside over the wedding," he said. "Same-sex marriages are legal in New York." He said her officiating is no indication of bias.
But he added many observers assume she'd side in favor of same-sex marriage in a case before the court.
Attempts to reach the two people getting married were unsuccessful.