A federal judge in Missouri has struck down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The senior status judge, Ortrie Smith, was a Bill Clinton appointee, if you’re counting.
Significance: Missouri is in the 8th Circuit. The 8th Circuit has an old Nebraska case that upheld a marriage ban, but it was decided long before the Windsor decision set off an avalanche of rulings in favor of marriage equality (yesterday’s 6th Circuit ruling not included). This was the first federal court ruling in an 8th Circuit state. A state court judge in Missouri earlier had held the ban unconstitutional, much as Circuit Judge Chris Piazza did in Arkansas.
Arkansas is in the 8th Circuit. Federal Judge Kristine Baker has a hearing Nov. 20 on the federal suit challenging Arkansas’s ban on marriage (and on recognition of marriages performed legally in other states).
The Missouri decision by Smith was stayed pending appeal, though marriage licenses are being issued under the state court ruling.