December 20, 2013
See updates at the bottom of this post
The state defendants in the challenge to Utah’s same-sex marriage ban have filed a notice of appeal of today’s decision striking down the ban. Earlier today, a federal district court ruled that the ban is unconstitutional. There is not yet an application for a stay of the district court decision, and same-sex couples in Utah have been applying for and receiving marriage licenses since the decision came down. However, the state is reviewing its options.
Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings
UPDATE: 8:30PM ET The state defendants are seeking an emergency stay of the ruling, along with the appeal. No official word yet on whether the stay was granted.
UPDATE 2: 8:40PM ET The appeal has been docketed at the Tenth Circuit.
UPDATE 3: 8:49PM ET: There is some conflicting information out there, but the Associated Press is reporting that state officials are saying it could be days before a stay is sought:
The state filed a notice of appeal late Friday and was working on a request for an emergency stay that would stop marriage licenses from being issued to same-sex couples.
‘‘It will probably take a little bit of time to get everything in place,’’ said Ryan Bruckman, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office. Bruckman said the judge told the attorney general’s office that it would be a couple of days before he would review any request for an emergency stay.
UPDATE 4: 10:35PM ET: A reporter is tweeting that a federal judge has said an emergency stay won’t be considered for days.
UPDATE 5: 1:10AM ET: Here is the state defendants’ request to the district court judge for a stay of his decision. In summary, the state argues that lower court decisions and an 8th Circuit decision provide evidence they’re likely to succeed on the merits; as far as irreparable harm to the state, they argue that the state suffers irreparable harm in the absence of a stay because the amendment was enacted by voters, and because of the administrative burdens associated with implementing the decision, both the state and the public interest suffer. Beyond that, the filing focuses mostly on the harms to same-sex couples who are plaintiffs. They argue that the marriage equality ban should remain in effect to prevent harms to same-sex couples because “the Plaintiffs and others will suffer harm if a stay is not granted and they proceed to marry during the pendency of an appeal that is ultimately successful.” Thus, they argue there would be a “cloud of uncertainty” over the marriages, which would harm same-sex couples.