The case of Pidgeon v. Parker, in which Republicans sued the City of Houston over a new policy granting full spousal benefits to all legally married couples with a member working for the municipality (read: same-sex couples), has seen its temporary restraining order blocking the enforcement of the policy lifted. Last month, a Family District Judge granted the order, but the case was recently moved to Federal Court.
Now, the Houston Chronicle reports that Judge Lee Rosenthal (a Bush 41 appointee) has lifted that order, at least for the time being. While the Family Judge’s (Lisa Millard) ruling indicated there to be a high likelihood of the plaintiffs prevailing on the merits, Judge Rosenthal’s decision simply means the case will go on and may very well have a trial. Jared Woodfill, the Chairman of the Harris County GOP and the plaintiff’s attorney, was quick to play this difference as somewhat insignificant in the long run:
“Judge Millard’s position was that the Mayor’s actions were illegal and unlawful and she immediately restrained the Mayor from going forward. This judge has not decided whether the Mayor’s actions were illegal, so she gave us more time to do additional briefing,” Woodfill said.