UPDATE: Proposition 8 supporters were dealt another loss on Sunday when Justice Anthony Kennedy denied their request to halt same-sex marriage in California. Kennedy did not offer any additional comment in his decision.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry on Wednesday, California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative that barred same-sex marriage in the state is no more. But the fight over gay marriage in the Golden State continues.
On Friday, a three judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously lifted the stay on gay marriage, allowing same-sex couples to wed again. A day after that, attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom—a group based in Arizona, by the way—announced they were appealing the 9th Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court to halt the weddings. The group claims that the 9th Circuit judges acted prematurely in their decision to immediately allow same-sex couples to marry after the Supreme Court’s Proposition 8 ruling.
“Today’s petition asks the Supreme Court to find that the 9th Circuit had no jurisdiction to order same-sex marriages on Friday since the case had not yet come back down from the nation’s highest court,” the attorneys said Saturday.
The request was submitted to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is responsible for emergency petitions from the 9th Circuit. Kennedy authored the majority opinion in the ruling that gutted the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but he also wrote the dissent in the Proposition 8 case, though the latter was decided on procedural grounds.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks wrote that the Supreme Court’s consideration of the case is not over because his clients still have 22 days to ask the justices to reconsider their decision, saying that Proposition 8’s backers did not have legal authority to defend the ban.
The filing took place as hundreds of same-sex couples were lined up to get marriage licenses in San Francisco – where it was Gay Pride Weekend—and other cities around the state.
...The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lifted a stay two days after the Supreme Court declined to rule on Proposition 8, thereby upholding a lower court’s decision overturning the ban. The appeals court had blocked enforcement of that ruling pending the Supreme Court decision.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
Emily Mills (CC-BY-ND)