In the frantic pace of marriage equality litigation nationwide, other key developments are:
The State of Utah filed its petition for Supreme Court review of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down its same-sex marriage ban: Gay City News’ Arthur S. Leonard said the petition, filed by Governor Gary Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes, both Republicans, “is well-calculated to persuade the high court that they should take the case. They have positioned this as a federalism case, their main pitch being that the task of defining marriage is left under our constitutional scheme to the states, and that federal courts should not dictate how that term is to be defined.”
Virginia’s Democratic attorney general, Mark Herring, who opposes his state’s ban, indicated he will file a petition on August 8 seeking Supreme Court review of the Fourth Circuit ruling that struck it down. Jumping the gun on the ban’s defenders, Herring clearly hopes to get the case before the high court as it decides which of the numerous federal challenges to hear in the term beginning in October. Should the Virginia case be granted review, it will give State Solicitor General Stuart Raphael, who argued very effectively before the Fourth Circuit, the chance to frame the marriage equality issue before the Supreme Court.
The Colorado Supreme Court put an end to gay marriages in Boulder on July 29. Due to an editing error, our reporting in the last issue incorrectly stated that a July 18 ruling from that state’s high court halted all localities from issuing licenses in response to state and federal rulings striking down that state’s same-sex marriage ban (those rulings are now under appeal). In fact, the earlier order did not apply to Boulder, which continued issuing licenses until the second order came down from the State Supreme Court.
Following a July 17 Monroe County ruling striking down Florida’s gay marriage ban, three more state judges there ––in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties –– reached similar conclusions. Three of the four rulings were stayed, the fourth was a narrow ruling related to a specific estate matter on which the judge issued an order, with no immediate broader implications.