March 25, 2014
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has just granted the request filed by state officials in Michigan to halt same-sex marriage in the state pending the outcome of their appeal. The district court had ruled in favor of the same-sex couple who filed the case, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer. That judge declined to stay his order on his own, but the state went to the Sixth Circuit with the request, after they filed their notice of appeal.
The three-judge panel pointed to the Supreme Court’s recent stay in Kitchen v. Herbert, the challenge to Utah’s same-sex marriage ban:
In light of the Supreme Court’s issuance of a stay in a similar case, Herbert v. Kitchen, 134 S. Ct. 893 (2014), a stay of the district court’s order is warranted.
The judges who decided on the motion are Judge John Rogers, appointed by President George W. Bush, Judge Helene White, who was first nominated by President Bill Clinton and later by President George W. Bush when the Senate declined to act on her nomination, and District Court Judge Karen Caldwell, who’s also an appointee of President George W. Bush, sitting by designation.
The decision to halt marriages was 2-1: Judge White dissented, writing that “Michigan has not made the requisite showing” that a stay is warranted, and that the stay in Kitchen provides little guidance here.
The case will be heard in the Sixth Circuit in the coming months. The couple has asked the appeals court to put their case on a fast-track.
Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for this filing
For more information on DeBoer v. Snyder from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.