Ark. lawmaker says he arranged lawsuit that upheld marriage law - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ark. lawmaker says he arranged lawsuit that upheld marriage law

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A lawmaker said today he helped arrange a lawsuit that successfully challenged an independent panel's power to correct a typo in state law that inadvertently allows toddlers to marry with parental consent.

Last month, a state judge ruled that the Arkansas Code Revision Commission overstepped its bounds when it corrected a law enacted this year that mistakenly allowed anyone under 18 to marry with their parents' OK.

Senator David Bisbee of Rogers told reporters today that he put in motion the lawsuit that led to the ruling after he was contacted by the father of a groom who was denied a marriage license because the bride was 17.

Bisbee elaborated on his involvement in the lawsuit after a legislative panel discussed what oversight lawmakers should have over a commission originally intended to correct typos and technical errors in legislation. Bisbee says he put the plaintiffs in touch with attorney Timothy Hutchinson, a former legislator.

A woman who gave her 17-year-old daughter permission to marry sued in Benton County after officials there denied her a marriage license. Benton County Circuit Judge Tom J. Keith said in his ruling the marriage license should be issued.

Bisbee said he encouraged the lawsuit because he believed the revision was a substantial change to the meaning of the law.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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