Victory! Federal Appeals Court Lifts Stay To Protect Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney’s Marriage
(Evansville, IN, July 1, 2014) — Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order compelling the State of Indiana to recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney while the State appeals a decision issued last week by a federal district court in Baskin v. Bogan, striking down Indiana’s marriage ban as unconstitutional. The Seventh Circuit issued its order after Lambda Legal filed an emergency motion asking the appeals court to lift—as to Niki and Amy—the stay granted by that court last Friday, because Niki is battling Stage IV ovarian cancer, and the family needs the dignity, comfort, and protections of marriage as they fight to be together.
“It is time for the State of Indiana to leave Niki and Amy in peace and not subject them and their marriage to any more stress and uncertainty as this case proceeds. We’re thrilled that the court ruled in favor of this family as Niki battles stage four ovarian cancer,” said Paul D. Castillo, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. “We will continue to fight until no family in Indiana needs to worry about their marriage being stripped away from them and all Hoosiers have the freedom to marry.”
In response to the emergency motion filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of Niki and Amy, the 7th Circuit also set an expedited briefing schedule in Baskin v. Bogan, with all briefs in the case due by August 5. Arguments in the case could come as early as the end of the summer.
Baskin v. Bogan was filed on March 10, 2014 in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Indiana. Lambda Legal later filed a motion seeking immediate relief for Ms. Quasney, Ms. Sandler and their two children ages 3 and 1. Almost five years ago, Ms. Quasney was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, having more than 100 tumors removed surgically in 2009, and has since gone through years of chemotherapy. They have a civil union in Illinois and were married in Massachusetts in 2013 but need their marriage legally recognized in Indiana to receive the full protections that every other married family in Indiana receives.
Read the order here: http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/baskin_in_20140701_order
Read our papers seeking an emergency stay as to Niki and Amy from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals here: http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/baskin_in_20140630_emergency-motion
Sign the petition urging the attorney general to abandon the appeal: http://www.lambdalegal.org/petition/indiana-attorney-general
Read more about the families and the entire case here: http://www.lambdalegal.org/take-action/love-unites-us/indiana
Joining Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director Camilla Taylor in arguing the case are Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Paul Castillo, Barbara Baird of the Law Office of Barbara J. Baird in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Jordan Heinz, Brent Ray, Dmitriy Tishyevich and Melanie MacKay of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.