The state Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging the constitutionality of Wisconsin domestic partnership law until an appeals court has heard the case.
Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser ruled in June 2011 that the law, which created the state’s Domestic Partner Registry, does not violate the Marriage Amendment to the state constitution, which was enacted in 2006.
In July, the 4th District Court of Appeals asked the Supreme Court to determine whether the legislation violated the amendment by creating a legal status substantially similar to marriage for unmarried individuals. The appeals court asked the high court to take up the case directly, since it creates a novel constitutional issue and that a decision would have statewide significance.
But a majority of the court declined the request, sending the case back to the appellate court for a hearing.
Dissenting from the decision not to take the case were Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. The court’s order does not say why it refused to take the case.
The registry was established by the legislature in 2009. It was challenged in court by members of Wisconsin Family Action.