Supreme Court to Discuss Gay Marriage – Law Blog – WSJ

Mark your calendars: the Supreme Court is scheduled to consider its next steps on gay marriage when the justices meet for the first time since their summer break.

The court on Wednesday listed gay marriage petitions from five states –  Indiana,OklahomaUtahVirginia and Wisconsin – for consideration at its Sept. 29 private conference.  Officials in those states are asking the court to decide whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional.

The justices use the September meeting to wade through stacks of appeals that pile up during the court’s three-month recess.  The court at some point after the conference is expected to add several of those cases to its docket for the term that begins Oct. 6.  Court watchers are eagerly awaiting word on whether one or more gay marriages cases will be among them.

The court is under no obligation to act right away.  It’s possible the court could take additional time to mull its options, particularly because of fast-moving developments in other gay-marriage litigation.

Litigants, as well as lower court judges, are racing to have their voices heard before the Supreme Court makes its next move.  Three federal appeals courts this summer have ruled against state gay-marriage bans, including one that issued a lightning quick decision last week. The Chicago-based Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down prohibitions from Indiana and Wisconsin in a 40-page opinion issued a mere nine days after the court heard oral argument.

Not to be outdone, attorneys general from those two losing states moved even faster in appealing the Seventh Circuit’s ruling to the Supreme Court.  Indiana and Wisconsin each filed petitions with the high court Tuesday, jockeying to have their cases be the ones in the spotlight.  Challengers to bans in those two states filed responses with the Supreme Court right away, also urging high-court intervention. The sprint to submit the documents allowed the two cases to make the list for the justices’ first private conference, a remarkably swift turnaround time rarely seen at the court.

via Supreme Court to Discuss Gay Marriage – Law Blog – WSJ.

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After more than 900 same-sex unions in 17 days, Supreme Court blocks new gay marriages in Utah | AL.com

WASHINGTON D.C. — After 17 days of legal limbo regarding same-sex marriages in the state of Utah, the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked new unions there until a federal appeals court can spend more time debating and addressing their legality, the Associated Press reported Monday morning.

According to the AP, more than 900 same-sex couples have been married in the state of Utah since December 20, when U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriages violated the constitutional rights of its non-heterosexual citizens.

via After more than 900 same-sex unions in 17 days, Supreme Court blocks new gay marriages in Utah | AL.com.

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Judge Allows Gay Marriages in Utah to Continue – WSJ.com

Days after striking down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, a federal judge on Monday denied a request by the state to halt gay weddings already under way there.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby’s ruling on the ban Friday made the conservative state—home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a leading opponent of gay marriage—the 18th in the country to allow same-sex weddings.

The Utah State Attorney General is now asking the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay while the state appeals the case, said Ryan Bruckman, a spokesman for the attorney general. “We thought a stay would be the best way to deal with the chaotic situation that has arisen from the ruling,” he said.

Couples continued to line up to wed in Salt Lake County on Monday, according to officials in the state’s most populous county, who said they had issued over 300 marriage licenses to same-sex couples since Friday’s ruling.

via Judge Allows Gay Marriages in Utah to Continue – WSJ.com.

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