Supreme Court denies stay of Idaho marriage ruling

by The Editors
Posted 10/10/14, 07:49 pm

UPDATE (7:30 p.m. EDT, Oct. 10): The U.S. Supreme Court late today denied Idaho's request for an emergency stay of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to overturn its laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The ruling, issued without explanation, clears the way for same-sex marriages to begin in the state immediately. Meanwhile, a federal district judge ruled late Friday that North Carolina’s marriage amendment is unconstitutional, also immediately allowing same-sex marriages there.

UPDATE (4:15 p.m. EDT, Oct. 8): U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy clarified an order he issued earlier today, saying same-sex marriages can proceed in Nevada but not in Idaho.

Kennedy issued an emergency stay of Monday's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that overturned laws protecting marriage between one man and one woman in the two states.

But this afternoon, Kennedy said the stay only applied to Idaho, where state officials requested the delay. Nevada officials did not oppose the appeals court ruling.

OUR EARLIER STORY: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an emergency stay this morning of yesterday’s appeals court ruling overturning laws in Idaho and Nevada that define marriage as between one man and one woman.

The ruling put a stop to clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in those states, at least temporarily.

In issuing the stay, Kennedy requested a response from the plaintiffs in the case by Thursday.

Kennedy’s order came just 24 hours after the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from five other states who had their marriage protection laws overturned by other appeals courts. Because the full Supreme Court decided not to consider those cases, it seems unlikely Kennedy’s stay will last for long.

In other marriage cases where a justice issued an emergency stay, the full court met quickly to consider extending it beyond a couple of days. At the beginning of the year, the court issued a stay in Utah’s case, one of the ones it ultimately decided not to hear. Same-sex couples began applying for marriage licenses almost immediately in the states affected by Monday’s ruling.