Things have gotten a bit messy in Idaho and Nevada since the Ninth Circuit overturned bans in both states on Tuesday. Here’s the run-down.
Nevada planned to drop its appeal of the case, meaning that the state would see same sex weddings begin almost immediately – by 2 PM yesterday. But Idaho officials had other plans for their own state. Towleroad.com reports:
“Idaho’s Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Governor Butch Otter (pictured) have filed an emergency motion to recall a 9th Circuit mandate that would lift the state’s gay marriage ban. KTVB reports: Because of the mandate, same-sex couples in Idaho won’t have to wait for the standard 7-day time span for the ruling to take effect. The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure typically provide the seven-day waiting period to give the losing side a chance to appeal. But the state of Idaho filed an emergency motion to recall that mandate, the attorney general’s office confirmed Wednesday morning. It’s unclear whether same-sex marriages will be allowed to proceed Wednesday.”
So essentially, the Ninth Circuit ordered the state to start marrying gays and lesbians, and the state said “hold on a minute”. Then Justice Kennedy stepped in. Reuters reports:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy granted a request from Idaho officials on Wednesday and temporarily blocked the planned start of gay marriages in that state after a regional federal appeals court’s ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
This is where things start to get murky. The media mistakenly reported that the order would also block weddings in Nevada:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has issued a stay on same-sex marriages in Idaho and Nevada pending any further order by Justice Kennedy or the entire court. “Lawyers for same-sex couples were told to file a response by 5 p.m. Thursday to Idaho’s request,” according to SCOTUS blog. The full order can be found here. An AP report confirmed BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner’s earlier inquiry that the stay would affect same-sex marriages in Nevada, which were also impacted by the Ninth Circuit court’s decision.
So Kennedy clarified that his order only affected Idaho, not Nevada. LGBTQ Nation reports:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has allowed same-sex marriage to begin in Nevada, clarifying that an earlier order blocking gay unions applies only to Idaho. Kennedy said in a brief order issued Wednesday afternoon that he is temporarily putting on hold same-sex marriage in Idaho, where state officials have asked for the delay. Nevada officials did not make a similar request.
Kennedy has called for a response to the stay in Idaho by 5 PM today. One couple did marry in Idaho before the stay was put in place. Towleroad.com reports:
According to The Idaho Statesman, one gay couple was able to get married in Twin Falls, Idaho before Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued his stay of the 9th Circuit’s ruling striking down bans on same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada. Same-sex couples were supposed to be able to begin marrying immediately in both states following a mandate issued by the 9th Circuit.
Meanwhile, in Nevada, a group with no ties to the state (and likely no standing in the case) filed an emergency request to re-instate the stay there. Southernminn.com reports:
A group fighting to keep Nevada’s state ban on same-sex marriage wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a short-lived ruling that blocked weddings from taking place.Coalition for the Protection of Marriage attorney Monte Neil Stewart says he filed a request for Justice Anthony Kennedy to reinstate a stay on Wednesday afternoon.
The Ninth Circuit is giving the group its day in court, essentially, agreeing to put things on hold in Nevada until at least 5 PM today. Towleroad.com reports:
…the 9th Circuit is also considering whether to recall its mandate issued yesterday that same-sex marriages must begin in Nevada immediately following its ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban. The court has, however, already rescinded its mandate as it applies to Idaho. BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner reports: Subsequent to the second order from Justice Anthony Kennedy, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recalled the mandate in the Idaho marriage case, per an order it filed Wednesday afternoon. Additionally, regarding the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage’s request before the 9th Circuit asking it to recall its mandate in the Nevada marriage case, the court called for responses to that request by 5 p.m. PT Thursday.
So now we wait for 5 PM.
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