Saturday, June 29, 2013


Sore Losers

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay it had imposed on same sex marriages in California pending the appeal to the Supreme Court. Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were the first same-sex couple married in the state in four and a half years.

But the proponents of Proposition 8 have filed an emergency motion in the Supreme Court seeking to block same-sex marriages from proceeding.

As Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog explains:
The application argues that the Supreme Court's ruling in the Proposition 8 case is not yet "final," so the stay must remain in place. The Supreme Court ordinarily does not issue its formally binding ruling – known as the "judgment" – in a case from a federal court of appeals until 25 days after it releases its "opinion." Because the Court issued its opinion in the Proposition 8 case on June 26, it would by default not issue the judgment until Monday, July 22. (The 25th day is July 21, a Sunday.) The principal point of that delay is to permit the losing party to prepare and submit a petition for rehearing to the Justices, though such petitions are as a practical matter never granted.
In other words, at most, this is just a delaying tactic and not even a credible one, as Goldstein shows:
As a formal matter, the Ninth Circuit did not put the Supreme Court's ruling in the Proposition 8 case into effect prematurely. The Supreme Court held that the proponents of Proposition 8 could not file appeals in federal court. That ruling says nothing about imposing or lifting a stay on same-sex marriage. The court of appeals likely has the authority to act with respect to its own previously entered stay, which is a form of controlling its own docket. Although the court of appeals had previously stated that they stay would remain in effect until the Supreme Court's ruling was final, it presumably can change its mind.
Just to show how hopeless this petulant maneuver is, even the proponents' principal Supreme Court counsel did not put its name on the emergency application.

This is just the sort foot-stamping that will cause more and more people to view the religious right as what they are, irrational homophobes.

This Just In: Justice Kennedy, after giving it all the consideration it deserved, has denied the emergency motion without comment.

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