Unlike most states, where the attorney general is elected, the governor — Republican Chris Christie — appoints the A.G. in New Jersey. The Attorney General’s Office, run by Acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman, did not respond to BuzzFeed’s request for comment about the state’s position on the brief.
Likewise, the office of Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, did not respond to a request for comment.
Like New Jersey, the governor of Hawaii appoints the attorney general in Hawaii. Abercrombie appointed Attorney General David Louie to the post when he took office in 2010.
Anne Lopez, special assistant to the attorney general, said that the case challenging Hawaii’s marriage laws — which had been pending prior to passage of marriage equality there — remains, technically, on the docket in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and, for that reason, the state did not join the brief.
“Until the Ninth Circuit does something [to dismiss the case], we did not think it was appropriate to participate in another briefing,” she told BuzzFeed. “Had it [dismissed the appeal], then I think we would have joined.”
One state without marriage equality — Oregon — did sign on, the decision of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
In February, Rosenblum announced that her office would not be defending the state’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages in ongoing court challenges.
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