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AG’s brief not persuasive in lesbian case

Virginia Solicitor General William E. Thro unsuccessfully asserted the sovereignty of the commonwealth in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal of a lesbian mother who is attempting to sever the parental rights of her former partner.

In an amicus brief in the case of Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins, Record No. 06-1110, Thro cited four reasons the high court should hear the case: to reaffirm the sovereign power of the states over domestic relations, to reaffirm the public policy exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to reaffirm the limits on congressional power to enforce the Constitution, and to provide guidance on the application of the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act in the context of same-sex unions.

The couple left Virginia to get a civil union in Vermont in 2000. Lisa Jenkins-Miller was artificially inseminated in Virginia, and the couple moved to Vermont for a time before they separated and Lisa Jenkins-Miller returned to Virginia. She filed in Vermont to have the union dissolved and courts there awarded Janet Jenkins-Miller visitation rights.

Lisa then filed suit in Virginia to have the Vermont order invalidated as contrary to Virginia’s public policy against same-sex unions and adoptions. The Virginia Court of Appeals ruled that Vermont had jurisdiction over the custody case and that the parental kidnapping act controlled. That ruling is on appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeal from Vermont with no further comment.

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