Supreme Court Denies Prop 8 Backers' Request to Halt California Same-Sex Marriages
The U.S. Supreme Court on Sunday denied an emergency application filed by the sponsors of California's Proposition 8 urging the court to immediately halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses that resumed Friday after an appeals court lifted the ban "prematurely," the Christian Post reports. Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, whose attorneys filed the application Saturday on behalf of ProtectMarriage, the official sponsors of Prop 8, said the Supreme Court declined to vacate Friday's "premature order" from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in the lawsuit concerning California's 2008 voter-approved marriage amendment. The application argued the 9th Circuit's order prematurely lifted a stay on a district court order that had declared the amendment unconstitutional. Under Supreme Court procedural rules, "final disposition" comes when the Supreme Court issues a "mandate" to the 9th Circuit, at least 25 days after announcing its opinion in the case, according to ProtectMarriage: "The 25-day waiting period is provided to allow parties such as Prop 8's proponents to petition the Supreme Court for a re-hearing of the case." Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy declined the request "even though court rules require the 9th Circuit to wait for a certified copy of the judgment from the Supreme Court before taking action," Alliance Defending Freedom said. "The high court has not yet issued its certified judgment." Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Austin R. Nimocks said: "Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed. The 9th Circuit made a clear representation upon which all parties should be able to rely -- that the stay would remain in place until final disposition by the Supreme Court. ... The more than 7 million Californians that voted to enact Proposition 8 deserve nothing short of the full respect and due process our judicial system provides." It's not clear if Prop 8 supporters will file their request with another Supreme Court justice.