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Supreme Court declines to decide marriage equality issue at this time, denying all seven petitions

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
This morning, the Supreme Court released its second order list from its conference on September 29.

As we reported last week, the Court didn’t address any of the seven petitions in marriage cases in its initial order.

Today’s list includes denials of review in several cases, including the seven marriage petitions. The appeals court decisions will remain binding in those circuits. There were two cases from the Tenth Circuit (from Oklahoma and Utah), two from the Seventh Circuit (Indiana and Wisconsin), and three from the Fourth Circuit (all three from the Virginia case.) Meanwhile, several states within those circuits have similar same-sex marriage bans. The final appeals court decisions striking these bans will be binding precedent in cases challenging the bans from those other states.

225 Comments

  • 1. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 6:56 am

    WE JUST WON ALL OF THESE CASES

  • 2. mariothinks  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Does this mean what I think it means? I'm baffled.

  • 3. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Congratulations to all the plaintiffs on behalf of happy couples in many new states!

  • 4. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:02 am

    THIS RULING APPLIES TO THE ENTIRE 4th CIRCUIT 10th CIRCUIT and 7th CIRCUIT OMG!!!! THINK ABOUT IT

  • 5. tornado163  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Yes, so in addition to finalizing marriage equality in Wisconsin, Indiana, Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, there's now binding circuit law for marriage equality in North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. Hopefully state officials in all those states don't waste time and taxpayer money and just allow marriages to begin.

    11 states in 1 day isn't bad.

  • 6. F_Young  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I agree that this EOT article's headline is definitely misleading, though the body of the article corrects this miswording. This is a final SCOTUS decision with respect to these cases; there is no "at this time" about it.

  • 7. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Yup. Oh, by the way, Judge Sutton, Justice Ginsburg is on the line, she'd like to know how your opinion writing is coming along.

  • 8. RQO  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

    This also sends a green light message to the 9th Circuit and a very strong message to the 6th. Expect another 9 states by Thanksgiving?

  • 9. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

    YEP I DON"T I DON"T MIND ADDING 11 IN ONE DAY HAHA

  • 10. brooklyn11217  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Didn't expect this today. Go figure!

  • 11. mariothinks  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:14 am

    The best thing about this is not the deny itself, but the implications! Eat your heart out 6th and 5th Circuit Courts!

  • 12. Chuck_in_PA  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:14 am

    It's like we won the lottery. My best wishes to everyone in the winning states, particularly to Jayne and April from Michigan, and I can't wait to watch the remaining dominoes fall. What a wonderful way to start the week.

  • 13. mariothinks  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:14 am

    This is better than what anyone could have ever imagined! Wow! I'm still stunned.

  • 14. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:17 am

    so when might 4th lift the stay?

  • 15. Scottie Thomaston  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I clarified the title just now.

  • 16. DoctorHeimlich  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I would have lost every dollar I have betting against this outcome. Wow!

    Not only did we just win those cases, and soon every other state in those circuits, we've basically won the whole ball game. As unthinkable as it may have been for SCOTUS to deny these cases, it's even more unthinkable that they would subsequently take a different case and rule in a way that would contradict the rulings they just allowed to stand.

    The only cloud in this sky is that it seems we must now go circuit by circuit. It might take longer now for, say, North Dakota to get there. What an unlikely situation it now puts us in to actively root FOR Judge Sutton to uphold the bans in the Sixth and speed this thing along again!

  • 17. mariothinks  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:24 am

    This is a joyous, monumental day in American history! Although 20 states will still be left out, it will not be for long! At least 6 of the justices think that a state cannot ban gay marriage. In my mind, the final decision has been made, and in a short period of time, same-sex marriage will be the law of ALL of the land!

  • 18. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:26 am

    HUGE PARTY this evening in Salt Lake City!

  • 19. josejoram  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Urrah!

  • 20. MichaelGrabow  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:31 am

    It happens as soon as cert is denied, no?

  • 21. Ragavendran  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:31 am

    The Supreme Court issued the stay, not the Fourth. It is lifted effective immediately and the mandate will issue soon.

  • 22. RnL2008  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Holy Frucking Crap………what an AMAZING morning……..now all that needs to be done is lifting the Stays!!!!

  • 23. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Stay breakdown:
    In the 4CA, the stay was imposed by SCOTUS until disposition of the certiorari petition. Certiorari has been disposed, the stay is lifted, and the 4CA is required to issue their mandate immediately.

    In the 10CA, Kitchen was stayed by SCOTUS, but Bishop was stayed by the 10CA. Kitchen is lifted, Bishop will require action from the 10th.

    In the 7CA, the stay in Wolf was initiated by the district judge. She will need to lift the stay. In Baskin, the stay was issued by the 7CA. They will lift the stay promptly.

  • 24. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:32 am

    So when can people actually get married? Immediately? Depending on the lower court?

  • 25. MichaelGrabow  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Any Wikipedia posters here this morning? I want to see the new map!

  • 26. jpmassar  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:33 am

    It is over when the Supreme Court Justices fail to sing.

  • 27. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:33 am

    So this is it ? We won ?! Could it possibly be ? Oh my gosh, I am literally about to cry..!

    It's the end of all that ? Can the 6th and the 5th rule against ME now ? Is this basically overruling baker ?

    OH MY GOSH !

  • 28. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Eric: See above. Virginia and Utah, immediately. Wisconsin, Indiana, and Oklahoma require some ministerial action. Elsewhere in 4CA and 10CA, requires a summary judgment that is effectively ministerial, but it would need ~30 days to be de jure legal; though is already de facto.

  • 29. Zack12  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:34 am

    The only thing that makes me nervous about this is some Red State Democrats are barely hanging on by a thread.
    This ruling could generate a backlash that could cost them.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have full equality but this IS going to anger the Republican base, I just hope our side turns out to counter that.

  • 30. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:35 am

    the fourth may come really quick then?

  • 31. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Does anyone know when the Circuits will lift their stays of if that formality is even necessary?

  • 32. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Immediately as in today? Or immediately as in a week?

  • 33. Japrisot  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:37 am

    The is HUGE news!

  • 34. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:37 am

    VA is a done deal. NC, SC, and WV – de facto legal (I'm sure you could go to Charlotte and get a license today), but de jure no – not until one of the district courts rules. Though if the clerks want to engage in 4CA (and SCOTUS)-supported Civil Disobedience, they've got the green light. ~30 days until all the states covered have de jure marriage equality.

  • 35. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:37 am

    You and me both, Dr H. I was *convinced* that a cert grant was coming.

  • 36. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:38 am

    See my comments above.

  • 37. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Immediately as in right. this. minute.

  • 38. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I disagree. The only people that are going to be motivated to vote Republican because of this are already voting Republican. If anything this might help the Democratic base at the margins.

    Plus this has been coming for a long time. A lot of people against SSM have already resigned to the fact that they've lost.

    Plus this is not an order demanding marriage equality from the SC. It just lets lower courts' rulings stand.

  • 39. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:42 am

    WHOA!!!!

    And also, YIPPEE!!!

  • 40. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Awesome. Thanks

  • 41. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:45 am

    It's a decline to review – a denial of cert, but not a ruling or a dismissal. It's very persuasive, and yes, it does let the appeals courts' rulings stand, WHICH IS AWESOME, but it's sort of a nationwide ruling…

  • 42. buckybear0310b  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I just called my husband and bawled. Our 6/6 wedding in Milwaukee with my recently deceased sister in-law as a witness has an even more special meaning. WOW. Thanks to all for helping keep my sanity with reasoning.

  • 43. jjcpelayojr  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Ladies and gentlemen,
    Meet the new Baker :P..

    I see what you did there SCOTUS…:)

  • 44. Chuck_in_PA  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I realized I am jumping the gun on Michigan in my enthusiasm for the impact of the Supreme Court's action, but perhaps these denials of cert will motivate the 9th and 6th Circuits to issue their decisions soon and bring ME to the states in those circuits.

  • 45. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Yes, we just won 11 states from the 4th, 7th and 10th. Now let's celebrate, but also stand back a second and analyze what SCOTUS just did:

    1) There were some EoT commenters who did predict SCOTUS would deny cert. I certainly did not subscribe to this because I did not want to see a circuit-by-circuit path.

    2) We need to go back into the 4th, 7th and 10th rulings to see the basis for each of their decisions, level of scrutiny, BAKER, etc. as each of these AC decisions stand on their own.

    3) We now watch the next AC rulings. "If" there is pro-ban ruling, SCOTUS will have to grant cert.

    /StillShocked
    /GayStayRanterCanSleepNow

  • 46. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:47 am

    There will be a slight delay as the lower court cases need to be summarily dismissed in our favor, but yes, all 11 states will soon be ours!!!

  • 47. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I am so excited for everyone in the 4th, the 10th,and the 7th. Please, though, remember all of us in the 9th who are still suffering under marriage bans.

  • 48. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:49 am

    So can the 5th or the 6th or any other circuit ignore that denial of review and rule against ME still ? Or is it a Baker like thing, that people like Feldman consider binding ? Has this just brought a huge boost towards nationwide equality ?

  • 49. SWB1987  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Update the map already!

  • 50. MichaelGrabow  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Not for long!

  • 51. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:55 am

    WE ARE FINALLY HAVE A MAJORITY OF STATES LIVEING UNDER THIS LAW

  • 52. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:57 am

    And for anyone who wants to see it with their own eyes, pages 39 and 40 of today's orders ladies and gentlemen !
    I want to see the faces of Herbert, the mormon leaders, Fallin, the whole Oklahoma and Utah legislatures ,Zoeller's, Walker's, Van Hollen's and the Virginia house republicans. In addition I want to see the fear and the defeat in the eyes of officials in Wyoming, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia. Oh the next days the rulings will be coming like a joyous rain from all these states :)

    But above all I want to see the happy faces of all those couples in all those states, especially the very red ones, who finally enjoy the basic rights no american should be denied.

    It is a big day today.

  • 53. RnL2008  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Ladies and Gentlemen can you hear the heads exploding of Brian Brown from NOM and Tony Perkins from the FRC…….OMFG, those folks are sitting in the corner with their thumbs in their mouths crying the blues and how SCOTUS has become the BIGGEST Activist Court around!!!

  • 54. SWB1987  |  October 6, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Can the 6th circuit just decide already??‽!!

  • 55. RnL2008  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Love this comment……..just amazing and with us waiting on the 9th and still the 6th…….we may see SCOTUS still get involved should the 5th rule against us…..but I think the Appeals Justices JUST got the message loud and clear in my opinion!!!

    Congratulations to ALL of the plaintiffs….NOW, let's get these Stays LIFTED!!!

  • 56. seannynj  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:01 am

    To me, the best part of today news is the end of GAY = STAY!

  • 57. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Given that both the 8th in Bruning and Feldman in Robincheux used Baker as precedent, that should give plenty of space imo.

    The 9th's ruling goes without saying and I hope Sutton got the message THIS time around !

    All eyes are on the 5th now. How will they twist this one ?

  • 58. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:04 am

    If Sutton rules against after this, after AT LEAST one of the 4 conservatives did not vote to grant review (my guess is Roberts), he will be the laughing stock of the whole federal judiciary, that's all I have to say.

  • 59. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:10 am

    And I also present you the map ladies and gentlemen :)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in

    And it will only get even more blue soon !

  • 60. Ragavendran  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Technically, Kitchen is a bit bizarre. Yes, SCOTUS stayed the district court, but that was only pending the issuance of a mandate by the Tenth. The Tenth then issued the controlling stay of its own mandate. So it has to lift it's stay and issue the mandate at which point the Supreme Court's stay is automatically lifted.

  • 61. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:13 am

    According to VA Attorney General Mark Herring, marriages will begin in Virginia at 1PM TODAY!
    https://twitter.com/MarkHerringVA/status/51914246

  • 62. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:14 am

    More info on VA:
    http://www.bluevirginia.us/diary/12301/a-sad-day-

  • 63. MichaelGrabow  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Michigan? …is my memory failing me?

  • 64. RemC_in_Chicago  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Or return the issue to SCOTUS with an upholding of the bans in the 6th, right?

  • 65. Retired_Lawyer  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:16 am

    "The move was a major surprise…." The second sentence of Adam Liptak's article on this news for the New York Times. Preach it! I am keenly disappointed that the chances have been diminished for a 50 state marriage equality victory this term, but it shows how far we have come that a tremendous victory in three circuits can even register as a bit of a disappointment.

  • 66. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Michigan is still yellow on the map..

  • 67. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Van Hollen admits defeat and drops the weapons (like he could do anything else..) :
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/10/wisconsin-ag-c

  • 68. Zack12  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:22 am

    It is possible this could drag things out even longer in the 6th, especially if there are dissenting options.

  • 69. RQO  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Colorado already has a federal district court ruling, self-stayed. Expect AG Suthers to stand aside.

  • 70. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Yes, I hope the Appellate judges get the message and do the right thing, especially in the Sixth and Fifth Circuits. I am most fearful of the Fifth.

  • 71. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:25 am

    That was supposed to say "short," not "sort." Sorry about that.

  • 72. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Ah, Raga, you are correct! Thanks for ferreting that out.
    District court is stayed by SCOTUS pending 10CA disposition which was stayed by 10CA pending disposition of cert by SCOTUS. So it'll all unwind (and quickly), but may be a day or two.

  • 73. RQO  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I agree. Article somewhere (Politico?) recently that D's will face backlash, except in CO, where it may actually help.

  • 74. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:26 am

    The Fourth Circuit will lift their stay At 1pm.! VA marriages today!

  • 75. Retired_Lawyer  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:26 am

    The Washington Post (Robert Barnes) reports that at 1:00 pm EDT the 4th Circuit will allow same sex marriages to commence in Virginia.

  • 76. SFExPat  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Dane Co in WI is already issuing licenses.

    We thumb our noses in everybody's "ministerial" procedures.

    Jake
    PHX
    Proud cheesehead/Badger

  • 77. RemC_in_Chicago  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Thanks to all of you for your collective outlook on this stunning decision. I'm still trying to come to terms with it. My immediate reaction was not a happy one—my thoughts went right to the people who live in those states who are still awaiting the right to marriage equality. My heart goes out to all of those who live in the states where their status remains uncertain (like in the 6th) and the states where their hope for ME is further away (Louisiana, Texas, Florida, etc). If I need a good bonk on the head to clear my perspective, bonk away.

  • 78. RQO  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:31 am

    It's only Oct. 6. I am guessing (you tell me if reasonably) that there is enough time between now and June 30 that ALL Circuits get there under their own steam. So perhaps all 50 states within this term?

  • 79. TimATLGA  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:32 am

    So what's going to happen when the 9th rules in our favor? No stay? Could we soon have SSM in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho and Montana; as well as Nevada?

  • 80. debater7474  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:36 am

    WOOOHOO! The battle is officially over then, I suppose. The 6th and 5th circuits will no doubt try to issue some silly decisions upholding the bans, after which we will get the pleasure of seeing them smacked down by SCOTUS. Reminds me of Clint Eastwood's famous line, "Go ahead, make my day." Make our day, Sutton.

  • 81. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Statement of VA AG Mark Herring:

    "The Fourth Circuit is expected to issue its mandate at 1 p.m., meaning marriage licenses for same-sex couples can be issued at that time and the Commonwealth will recognize all marriages that were lawfully performed in other states. Local clerks are receiving guidance and forms necessary to begin performing marriages today, and the Attorney General's Office is working with the Governor's Office and state agencies to implement any needed changes in light of this action."
    http://ag.virginia.gov/index.php/media-center/new

  • 82. RemC_in_Chicago  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

    From Reuters: "The court could still take a future case, but its move on Monday is likely to send a strong signal to lower court judges that rulings striking down marriage bans are consistent with the U.S. Constitution…MESSAGE SENT. The issue could still return to the court, but the message sent by the court in declining to hear the matter would be a boost to gay marriage advocates involved in similar litigation in states that still have bans on the books."

    Okay, the head is clearing. But I remain anxious about the folks in places like Florida, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas regarding how long they have to continue to wait. Maybe I'm just tired from a weekend full of activities for my kids' birthdays and can't think straight (or gaily forward).

  • 83. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I hear them. It's a bit like fireworks, but a little squishier. LOL!

  • 84. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

    If not, the 5th Circuit doesn't look good

  • 85. DaveM_OH  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Read Lyle's take here – even he was surprised by the denial. http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/10/many-more-same-

    Start here, for peak optimism:

    "It is very hard, however, to interpret the Justices’ actions as having no meaning. Here are the reasons why the denial orders were such a surprise: …"

  • 86. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:46 am

    While not nationally binding, SCOTUS has certainly sent its message. This is incredible. Cue the end of my philosophical dilemma. In a way, this is even better than review, because there is so little delay (for the current circuit decisions) this way, as opposed to waiting til June.

  • 87. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Well Idaho officials can appeal. In case the 9th rules before the 6th and Idaho officials file for writ of certiorari again before the 6th rules (or rules in favour of ME) I can't see any other outcome than the one we had today.
    The trend is clear now : Federal circuits ruling in favour of ME, petitions go to SCOTUS, SCOTUS throws them out. Only a ruling against ME can disturb that I think.

  • 88. KACinSTL  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Yes, here in MO right now we're hoping Chris Koster doesn't appeal so we can go next door to Illinois (or Iowa), get married, come back to Missouri, and register for benefits…

  • 89. MichaelGrabow  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Wow. Yes, it is.

  • 90. TimATLGA  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Even if Idaho does appeal, I wonder if SCOTUS would stay the 9th's decision while they consider cert, as they have in the past. In other words, is gay = stay now over?

  • 91. Zack12  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

    I can already see on the bigot's twitter feeds that they feel the Supreme Court will rule that states should have the final word.
    If they had wanted to do that, they would NOT have just done what they did.
    The bigots have lost, and the rational ones on twitter are admitting as much.

  • 92. andrewofca  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

    As he should. And so should AG Van Hollen.

    And the swamp thing from Virginia… what whas her name? Mcqguigley?

  • 93. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Not to rain on the parade, but it is reaching to say that "at least 6 of the justices think that a state cannot ban gay marriage." We do not know which justices voted to deny cert or why. The conservatives may have voted to deny cert in order to avoid a definitive ruling by SCOTUS on the issue. The liberals may have voted to deny cert because they were not sure that they had 5 votes in favor of a definitive ruling. I think the result will eventually be that same-sex marriage will be the law of ALL of the land, but let's not count our chickens before they hatch, especially for those of us who live in red states that do not recognize our marriages.

  • 94. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Great analysis of what happens next from Scotusblog:
    http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/10/many-more-same-

  • 95. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Some Wisconsin counties are already issues marriage licenses. Attorney General Herring says Virginia couples may obtain marriage licenses this afternoon.

  • 96. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

    The last two paragraphs of his analysis are interesting as they show that the justices could not possibly deny review, knowing what a legal chaos it could create if they at some point granted cert to a case and upheld a ban. It is a strong pro equality indication, I mean SCOTUS cannot be that irresponsible.
    Also he takes an interesting view on what the 4 conservatives may have done. Indeed they may have seen that they do not have a 5th vote to uphold the bans. Or it could be that Roberts simply sees this is futile and dropped the weapons here, while the other 3 could be more ready to fight this. As I was saying yesterday, Roberts goes where the wind blows.

  • 97. Ragavendran  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Being a Boulder, CO resident with dear friends here waiting to tie the knot, I'm looking at how this impacts Colorado. The Tenth Circuit issued a stay in both Kitchen and Bishop, stating that "if a petition for certiorari is filed and denied, we would lift the stay and issue the mandate. See Stafford v. Ward, 60 F.3d 668, 671 (10th Cir. 1995)." I expect the Tenth Circuit (and Seventh Circuit) to act expeditiously on this, before the end of today or tomorrow, just as the Fourth Circuit is doing.

    As I've clarified previously, even though the Supreme Court issued the stay in Kitchen, it is now the Tenth Circuit's stay that controls. (Weird, I know, since the Supreme Court is a higher court.) This is because the Supreme Court's stay was pending the issuance of a mandate by the Tenth Circuit, and when the Tenth lifts its stay and issues the mandate, the Supreme Court's stay will automatically expire.

    9NEWS is reporting that county clerks in Colorado are in talks with their attorneys and could begin issuing licenses immediately, as the AG had conceded in his filings that if the Tenth Circuit's decision in Kitchen/Bishop were to become final, that would automatically gut Colorado's marriage ban. If he stands by what he said, he should now drop all his arms (like Van Hollen) and withdraw all the pending appeals (both in state and federal court). For marriages in Colorado to legally move forward, either Judge Crabtree (state court) or the Tenth Circuit (federal court) must lift their stay. (Unfortunately, Boulder County clerk Hillary Hall will probably still need clearance from the Colorado Supreme Court, as might Adams and Denver County clerks.)

    I'll try to keep a close eye on how events unfold in Colorado (and elsewhere), as much as my schedule will permit.

    I'm very happy about what today's Supreme Court order means, but I still can't make up my mind overall on this development – mixed feelings.

  • 98. cpnlsn88  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Wow. And to think I only dropped by the site to see if the 9th Circuit had ruled……

    Just wow!!

    Some take aways for me:

    1. There weren't 4 Justices wanting to review the rulings.
    2. Baker has now evaporated and can play no further role in proceedings.
    3. Marriage equality comes to 30 states in total, more when you add those in the 9th Circuit (i.e. a majority of the US by state and population).
    4. Sutton may have to rewrite his opinion (or join the majority).
    5. It is inconceivable that future rulings will be stayed pending SCOTUS being able to review. District rulings in our favour likely to go into immediate effect. I might add district rulings not likely to be appealed but we shall see.
    6. Very unlikely now there will be a SCOTUS ruling (provided good sense prevails on the 6th and 5th Circuits); Scalia was right after all – Windsor did legalise same sex marriages!

  • 99. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

    If you live in Dane County Wisconsin, you could have already gotten married.

  • 100. RnL2008  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I believe SCOTUS sent a message LOUD and CLEAR that the State DOESN'T have the right to restrict one's fundamental right to marry…….yes, it is still possible for SCOTUS to take a case in the future……but I don't see that happening and I don't see SCOTUS ruling in favor of States rights SHOULD a State try and come up with a different argument……but as long as ant-gay marriage folks exist…..this fight will continue, but with far less fan fare!!!!

  • 101. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Congratulations on this validation of your marriage!

  • 102. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Indeed it should be interesting to see if SCOTUS stays the Idaho ruling, but I can't see why it should do that. Unless the 6th rules in favour of the bans, what's the point ? They made their intentions clear today.

  • 103. RnL2008  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I would tend to agree with ya, but it would be hard for SCOTUS to grant cert now that their hand has been revealed…….the ONLY thing SCOTUS could do now is rule that Section 2 of DOMA violates the FFC, but I don't see them doing much for at least another year…..yes, it means that we will have to fight still in places like the 8th and 11th Circuits, but I believe that if SCOTUS does take a case it will be to finish off what they DIDN'T want to do now at this time.

  • 104. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Best. Scalia. Dissent. Ever. LOL.

  • 105. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Good sense and the 5th circuit are two concepts that do not mix. So yeah if Sutton gets the message this time around, all eyes are on the 5th. If the 5th concedes that today's actions are binding, then neither the 11th nor the 8th will provide any opposition imo.
    But I have this feeling that the 5th will force SCOTUS to take up the issue.

  • 106. mariothinks  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Jay, you're not raining on my parade, because I know what I believe is right. At least six had to deny hearing the cases, it may be more. If anyone of those two did not want gay marriage to be the law of the land, they would not have let same sex-marriage become the law in 11 states, most of which are the reddest in the nation.

    "The conservatives may have voted to deny cert in order to avoid a definitive ruling by SCOTUS on the issue." This wasn't a decision to avoid. They made an immediate decision that affects 11 states. A decision to avoid would be to put it off till next session or to later conferences.

    Think about it dude. We won.

  • 107. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:12 am

    See my comment above. We really do not know why any individual justice voted to deny or grant cert. Some of the conservatives may have voted to deny cert because they did not want a Supreme Court ruling that definitively ruled in favor of marriage equality on specific grounds, whether because there is a constitutional right to marriage that extends to gay people or whether on equal protection grounds or, probably most frightening to them, a due process ruling that declares sexual orientation a characteristic deserving at least intermediate scrutiny.

    I think this denial will work out the way we want, but we have to be cautious in understanding what this will mean and why. To me, it smells like Roberts realizing that this may have the least effect in advancing gay rights generally–it will lead to same-sex marriage nationally but without the express imprimatur of SCOTUS, particularly in terms of constitutional rights. So while I am delighted at this wonderful expansion of marriage equality throughout the country, we still don't know exactly what this will mean in particular circuits, since some circuits reached the same conclusion but on different principles.

  • 108. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Agreed, but I see the 5th CA doing it's damnedest to plug its ears and go NANANANA NA-NA! and they'll need a SCOTUS-style smackdown.

  • 109. ragefirewolf  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Agreed, but I see the 5th CA doing its damnedest to plug its ears and go NANANANA NA-NA! and they'll need a SCOTUS-style smackdown.

  • 110. mariothinks  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Don't be too concerned about Florida. District court struck down our law and three state justices. The 11th circuit is looking better and better these days. A win there, can bring gay marriage to other red states like Alabama, Georgia, and Florida itself.

  • 111. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Thanks, RemC_in_Chicago. As one of those married men whose marriage is not recognized in a state that is not implicated in these decisions, I appreciate your concern. I am hopeful that the Appellate judges in the other circuits get the right message from these denials of cert, but I know that there are stubborn rogue judges who sit on these circuits who will have no compunction about doing the WRONG thing. If that happens, I hope that SCOTUS will quickly grant review and reverse them.

  • 112. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Any reactions from Oklahoma or Utah officials yet ?

    Also can the Indiana legislature proceed with the proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality after today's ruling ? If they put it on the ballot and its approved would it take a new legal battle to strike it down ?

  • 113. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Gary Herbert (Utah) appears to have called a press conference for 11:30 a.m. Mountain Time. I will be glued to the coverage

  • 114. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:26 am

    The Utah marriages were legal as of Dec. 31, 2013, so many couples used the appropriate legal status on their 2013 returns.

  • 115. Terence  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Marion County Indiana will begin issuing licences "immediately". http://fox59.com/2014/10/06/marion-co-issues-marr

  • 116. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Thanks for the update ! This is going to be interesting for sure..

  • 117. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Rumor that Tenth Circuit just lifted appeal. . . looking for confirmation.

  • 118. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:36 am

    mariothinks, yes, to grant cert there would have had to be four votes in favor. That does not mean that six justices voted against granting cert. It means that fewer than four voted to grant cert. (Justices are not required to vote.)

    The effect of denying cert is that 11 more states will now have marriage equality. But for some of the conservatives, that may be better than granting cert that would lead to a decision that would grant 31 more states marriage equality.

    We won, but the battle is not over.

  • 119. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Confirmed. It is reported by freedom to marry and lgbtqnation. Marriages can begin in Utah and Oklahoma right now !

  • 120. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Suthers in Colorado is ready to implement the imminent decision :
    http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/press/news

  • 121. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Suthers in Colorado is ready to implement the imminent decision :
    http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/press/news

  • 122. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Suthers in Colorado is ready to implement the imminent decision :
    http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/press/news

  • 123. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Utah news story: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58492286-78/uta

  • 124. davepCA  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:47 am

    This is of course wonderful news for all of the states & circuits that had stays on their pro-ME decisions, and yes, victory laps for everybody!

    BUT – I'm trying to understand what this means for the other states & circuits which have not yet ruled in our favor and which may rule against us. Until todays SCOTUS decision, those other rulings would almost certainly be wiped out by a sweeping nation-wide pro-ME SCOTUS decision n June or July next year when SCOTUS ruled on one or more of these seven cases.

    But now that that isn't going to happen, what will the path forward look like for trials in the 5th or other places that may rule against us? How might the time line in those cases and those places be affected by today's SCOTUS decision? Any way to tell if this decision will speed up or impede those cases?

  • 125. toddsmitala  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I've lost track on some of these rulings – did the 7th circuit ruling find that strict scrutiny applied? I know the 10th and 4th did, so that would mean it is now binding precedent now in those circuits, right?

  • 126. TDGrove  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I suspect they'll also try to take as long as possible to do so, hoping for a change in the SCOTUS makeup. It is the only hope they have left.

  • 127. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I believe the EoT site just hit the record for the quickest time to hit over 100 comments and the threads collapsing (not in the control of EoT)….less than 3 hours…It feels like June, 2015 in October, 2014!

  • 128. Zack12  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I can't see where he can continue this fight.
    Because as of now, he doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

  • 129. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    ACLU is filling a lawsuit in federal court in Kansas (the one pending is in state court) asking to block the enforcment of the amendment :
    http://www.kansascity.com/news/state/kansas/artic

  • 130. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    ACLU is filling a lawsuit in federal court in Kansas (the one pending is in state court) asking to block the enforcment of the amendment :
    http://www.kansascity.com/news/state/kansas/artic

  • 131. Ragavendran  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:51 am

    PACER confirms that the Tenth Circuit has just issued its mandate in Kitchen and Bishop. Colorado AG Suthers has issued a statement:

    "Once the formalities are resolved, clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples," Suthers wrote in a statement released Monday morning. "We will file motions to expedite the lifting of the stays in the federal and state courts and will advise the clerks when to issue licenses."
    http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/politics/20

    Tenth Circuit Order filed by Judges Kelly, Lucero and Holmes – "On this date, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari review in this matter. Consequently, the stay of the mandate directed in our decision dated 6/25/14 is lifted, and the mandate shall issue forthwith."

  • 132. Ragavendran  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:51 am

    PACER confirms that the Tenth Circuit has just issued its mandate in Kitchen and Bishop. Colorado AG Suthers has issued a statement:

    "Once the formalities are resolved, clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples," Suthers wrote in a statement released Monday morning. "We will file motions to expedite the lifting of the stays in the federal and state courts and will advise the clerks when to issue licenses."
    http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/politics/20

    Tenth Circuit Order filed by Judges Kelly, Lucero and Holmes – "On this date, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari review in this matter. Consequently, the stay of the mandate directed in our decision dated 6/25/14 is lifted, and the mandate shall issue forthwith."

  • 133. TDGrove  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I wonder if this wasn't the deal the justices had made all along. Go along with the stays, but if there isn't a split by the time the long conference happens, we don't hear any of them. It might be the explanation for the "stay the gay away" stuff we had to put up with for so long. Wonder if we'll ever know…

  • 134. Ragavendran  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:53 am

    See my latest comment below. He has given up. Technically, yes, without a legal leg to stand on, all he could have done is add delay.

  • 135. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:57 am

    VA AG Herring's live comments:
    http://wavy.com/breaking-news-live-stream/

  • 136. EricKoszyk  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:57 am

    VA AG Herring's live comments:
    http://wavy.com/breaking-news-live-stream/

  • 137. ColleenJuniper  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I'm reading in a lot of headlines that SCOTUS' refusal unambiguously legalizes ME in five states, and "could" mean equality in the six other states of the three circuits "soon".

    Can someone explain what the procedure is for the six other states? Is it a matter of the state Attorneys General making an announcement, or if they do not, some county clerk announcing she will begin issuing licenses, and the rest of the state is forced by her hand? Or am I missing something?

  • 138. RemC_in_Chicago  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:05 am

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/10/many-more-same-

    Take a look and see if this answers any of your questions.

  • 139. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:05 am

    In Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia and the Carolinas there are lawsuits pending before courts (federal and state) challenging the bans and decisions have not been issued yet in those cases, proceedings were stayed in the 4th circuit cases (W.V. and the Carolinas) waiting for the outcome in the Virginia case (Bostic).
    Now that SCOTUS hs denied review, these courts (the federal ones at least) have to abide by the decisions of the higher court in their juristiction – that is the 10th and the 4th circuit courts of appeals.
    The judges will need to block the enforcment of the bans and summarily rule in favour of the plaintiffs (same sex couples), allowing marriages to begin. Stays and appeals have no actual point right now.

  • 140. Christian0811  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

    So…..about 'Baker'???

    I'd love to see NOM or ADF try to use it now as an excuse to deny marriage equality!

  • 141. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:08 am

    No, the battle is not officially over. It will be officially over when same-sex couples in all 50 states may marry and have their marriages recognized in all 50 states. There is more work to be done to make that happen, but today's news gives us a glimpse of that victory.

  • 142. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Marriages are underway in Indiana now. Who knows what the crazies in the Indiana legislature will do, but any state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage that they propose is doa in the courts.

  • 143. tornado163  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Technically, I don't think Baker has been officially overturned, so I imagine we'll continue to see it brought up in future cases. In the Prop 8 case, SCOTUS could have dealt with the case by using Baker, but chose to ignore it completely in favor of standing. Likewise here, they could have used Baker, but disposed of the cases in a different way. It's like Judge Lucero in the 10th Circuit talking about how Baker's sitting alone in the corner being ignored. But it technically exists even if it has pretty much no precedential value.

  • 144. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:13 am

    More from Adam Liptak's article in the NYTimes:

    "There may then be no turning back, said Walter E. Dellinger III, who was an acting United States solicitor general in the Clinton administration.

    “The more liberal justices have been reluctant to press this issue to an up-or-down vote until more of the country experiences gay marriage,” he said. “Once a substantial part of the country has experienced gay marriage, then the court will be more willing to finish the job.”

    There is precedent for such an approach. The court waited until 1967, for instance, to strike down bans on interracial marriage, when the number of states allowing such unions had grown to 34, though it was still opposed by a significant majority of Americans.

    Popular opinion has moved much faster than the courts on same-sex marriage, however, with many Americans and large majorities of young people supporting it."

  • 145. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

    We probably won't know until one of the justices write their memoirs or leave their notes to the Library of Congress.

  • 146. ColleenJuniper  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Thanks! And I see the Colorado AG has thrown in the towel.

    I take it that it's possible that some county or state courts in the sets you list COULD find for continuing their bans (based on some argument that their state's ban is better than the others', I suppose), but such decisions would be doomed on appeal?

  • 147. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Yes, I think Roberts probably declined to vote to grant cert (he could well have abstained). I suspect that the liberals, led by Justice Ginsburg, then realized that the conservatives lacked four votes, so they all voted to deny cert. This outcome is in line with what she seems to have preferred.

    Of course, we have no real knowledge of what the actual vote was (only that there were fewer than four votes in favor of granting cert–it could have been 3 in favor and 6 abstentions) or who voted how. Maybe after one of the justices retire and write their memoirs, they will spill the beans.

  • 148. JamesInCA  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Scalia actually predicted this fairly accurately in Lawrence.

  • 149. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Using the rear view mirror:

    "There is no rush" RGB….NOW we understand this comment if you already knew there were not 3 votes to grant cert.

    "Soon, soon" Scalia…NOW we believe you,

    SCOTUS could not muster up 4 votes to grant cert. That says an awful lot.

  • 150. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Not quite. State courts do not have to follow the rulings of a federal appeals court. They are bound by the decisions of other, higher, state courts like courts of appeals and the state supreme court.
    They can take federal law and precedence under consideration but they are not obligated to, if their state supreme court has not ruled so.
    That's why ACLU is filling a federal lawsuit in Kansas now, since the one already pending is in state court and it is uncertain if the judge will take notice of today's rejection and the standing decision of the 10th circuit.
    It's a complicated case overall, it may take a federal lawsuit in Wyoming as well to get the decision there. But its only a matter of time either way, even if a new, federal this time, lawsuit has to be filled.

  • 151. weaverbear  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Love reading Lyle's analysis. This one was particularly buoying.

  • 152. davepCA  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Yes, I saw that one, but it doesn't seem to offer any insight into the time line and the path forward for states & circuits that might rule against us. Yes, today's decision sends a message that those states & circuits should not do so, but it doesn't discuss how such a decision would proceed if/when it does occur. I'm hoping that SCOTUS would be quick to take up such a case if a court rules against us, but at this point it looks like it would add one more year to the process for those states…

  • 153. weaverbear  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:40 am

    After the 9th rules and all this shakes out in the states of the 4th, 7th and 10th, we will be ahead of where the nation was when Loving was decided. We were at 34 then, and ofter the 9th makes its next ruling, we'll have Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, Montana, and Arizona. If I'm counting correctly that will be 35.

    So, Judge Sutton, care to join us?

  • 154. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Thanks, RemC.

  • 155. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Amen, JayJonson.

  • 156. robbyinflorida  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I can see Monte Stewart throwing his arms around and pointing to the sky.

  • 157. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I certainly hope gay=stay is over.

  • 158. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:45 am

    i think so

  • 159. F_Young  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Zack12: "The only thing that makes me nervous about this is some Red State Democrats are barely hanging on by a thread.
    This ruling could generate a backlash that could cost them."

    I agree. In fact, I suspect that is exactly the reason there weren't four judges among the RATS willing to grant cert, and why the decision was rushed out even though some of the procedural steps in some of the cases had not been completed in time for the long conference.

    It may be a cynical tactic to panic the right-wing and thus increase their donations, campaigning and turnout in the November elections.

  • 160. robbyinflorida  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:47 am

    We live in Florida, but Pam Bondi wouldn't drop the case until after the election.

  • 161. Waxr  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Although I hoped that the Court would deny cert. I thought it was unlikely.

    With today's ruling, the 6th circuit will most likely follow the Supreme Court's lead and rule in favor of ME. The 5th circuit could be a problem, but after losing in Lawrence, they should be able to read the hand writing on the wall.

    Several more states have lawsuits or appeals pending, but they will be resolved easily and quickly. It is a victory. There is no signs of fire and brimstone falling on earth.

  • 162. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Pam Bondi is in a bind, she really doesn't seem want to defends these bans, infact i think she personally against but it's all polical reasons, i think she even said it was nothing personal when defending them , in way she pretty much said she's not really in favor of them

  • 163. robbyinflorida  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:56 am

    NOM and FRC will try to spin this until they are dizzy and vomiting.

  • 164. ebohlman  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:57 am

    The denial of cert automatically lifts the stays in those cases.

  • 165. jdw_karasu  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:59 am

    So if my math is correct…

    We directly added:
    Virginia (4th)
    Indiana (7th)
    Wisconsin (7th)
    Oklahoma (10th)
    Utah (10th)

    Indirectly added:
    North Carolina (4th)
    South Carolina (4th)
    West Virginia (4th)
    Colorado (10th)
    Kansas (10th)
    Wyoming (10th)

    I'm going to take a stab at reading Sutton. My thought always has been that he wanted to punt (i.e. not rule) and have SCOTUS take up one of these other cases so that the 6th cases could be stayed. In a sense, SCOTUS has ruled today. My guess is that this sways him over into ruling against the bans in the 6th. Or let Daughtrey pen the decision and sign off on it.

    If that reading of Sutton is right, before long that will bring in:

    Kentucky (6th)
    Michigan (6th)
    Ohio (6th)
    Tennessee (6th)

    Then we have the 9th, which already was going to rule in our favor in Sevcik and Latta. Now Reinhardt, Gould & Berzon know they have been implicitly tasked by SCOTUS with the responsibility to write an opinion striking down all the bans in the 9th. We should expect a board, expansive ruling that leaves no wiggle room for the other states in the 9th that have bans. That will bring in:

    Alaska (9th)
    Arizona (9th)
    Idaho (9th)
    Montana (9th)
    Nevada (9th)

    If my math is correct, that would leave these in play:

    Alabama (11th)
    Arkansas (8th)
    Florida (11th)*
    Georgia (11th)
    Louisiana (5th)*
    Mississippi (5th)
    Missouri (8th)
    Nebraska (8th)
    North Dakota (8th)
    South Dakota (8th)
    Texas (5th)*

    We'll win in the 11th, even if it has to go to en banc.

    5th and 8th are bad courts for us. It will be interesting to see if the judges chose not to read the tea leaves and uphold the bans. It's quite possible that a pair of judges might be cheesed at SCOTUS now punting for a second time and make a ruling to force their hand.

    The 6th (10.2%) and 11th (10.9%) would bring in another 21% of the county's population.

    The 5th (10.8%) and 8th (3.9%) would leave just under 15% possibly waiting for this to finally be decided by SCOTUS.

    We probably aren't far from having 85% of the population in states without bans, and just 8 hold outs.

  • 166. Applebear40  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:03 am

    So is it my understanding the stays on all the Appeals Courts remains in effect, because i haven't heard of anyone getting married in any of the States that filed a Petition with the Supreme Court, since the Stays were issued.

  • 167. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:06 am

    The comedy team of Herbert and Reyes just did their comedy routine in front of live cameras. So nice to hear the Guv express his personal opinion that states have a Tenth Amendment right to discriminate. Utah state agencies and county governments have been informed of the Tenth Circuit mandate and instructed to follow the law.

  • 168. RemC_in_Chicago  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Ah, this is good:
    http://www.wptv.com/news/state/fla-attorney-gener

    OK, Bondi. You said you were waiting for SCOTUS to act. They have. Now what?

  • 169. Leo  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Nit: the 5th circuit played no part in Lawrence. It was a state case.

  • 170. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:20 am

    David – So sad they didn't parade Monte Stewart in front of the cameras in a clown suit.

  • 171. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Elections are right around the corner. She will continue defending the indefensible in order not to agitate the bigots in FLA.

  • 172. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Florida could cave in prior to the 11th ruling on ME. Bondi is being hounded by Equality Florida. Today's SCOTUS move just pulled the rug out from under her and the FL AG election is weeks ago. I can't wait to see if her polls numbers drop.

    And…thank you for the excellent breakdown!

  • 173. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Karma bites. . .

    For those of you who have no rational reason to give a flying primate flatus what Mormon leaders say or do (except when they are grinding the political machine to take away your constitutionally guaranteed rights), the Mormons held their semiannual world conference here in Salt lake City this past weekend. In anticipation of a SCOTUS ruling (or whatever), Dallin H. Oaks of the club's governing body said Mormons should respond graciously and "practice civility with our adversaries." (Oh by the way, the word "Adversary" also is used in Mormon-speak as a name for Satan.)

    Mormon heads are exploding much like the Martians in the cult classic "Mars Attacks!"

    Civility? Guffaw.

  • 174. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I believe Reyes feels relieved and that on a personal level he holds no grudge against ME or any strong feelings.
    Herbert on the other hand will take his time to digest that, his words show devestation and defeat.

  • 175. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Marriage licenses are issued in Oklahoma as well.

  • 176. ebohlman  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:33 am

    No. The 7th used an equal-protection analysis that said sexual orientation was subject to intermediate scrutiny, but actually used rational basis to strike down the bans.

    The 10th and 4th didn't set any precedent regarding scrutiny level for sexual orientation because they used a due-process analysis where strict scrutiny was triggered because a fundamental right was involved.

  • 177. David_Midvale_UT  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I have spoken at length with individuals in state government who say that Sean Reyes is acting only as an agent of state government and has no personal animus toward the LGBTQ community. I think Reyes is relieved to have this issue closed, especially since he has to present himself to the voters in about 4 weeks (and his opponent has made the state's crusade against equality an election issue).

  • 178. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:50 am

    While rumbling about sticks, crystal balls and "bonding rights" certainly lol !

  • 179. davepCA  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Look again.

  • 180. SeattleRobin  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    To say I am stunned is an understatement. While this was always discussed as a possibility, I never saw it coming.

    I am excited and overjoyed for the happy couples living in the states directly affected today, and others in a short time period. But I am frustrated for couples living in states where there wil only be an indirect and delayed effect, because it means more time in court and more money spent.

    I see how in the big picture this is the eventual death blow to all marriage bans, but it's a bit of a bittersweet victory. My happiness is hindered by also being angry. I feel this was a chickenshit move on the part of SCOTUS.

    Part of the message I'm getting is that gay people as a group are not important enough to protect with a decisive supreme court decision that we have the constitutional right to equal rights. Yes, we are getting there, but without the full support of our highest court. Most of all, doing it this way means there is no supreme court precedent that would have assisted in other kinds of equal rights cases that are unrelated to marriage. We needed that.

  • 181. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    All the stays were written with 'final action on appeal', recognizing that some appeals would go to SCOTUS. Since denial of cert is final action by SCOTUS (and no further appeals are available), the stays in those states are lifted.

    This is why the denial of cert means Virginia will get immediate (or almost immediate) ME, but in places like Kansas, it will take a bit longer.

  • 182. davepCA  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I empathize on all counts and I felt exactly the same when I first heard the news this morning. But now I realize that today's news doesn't mean we won't ever get a nation-wide decision. It's still possible that at some time, some court will rule against ME (wow, it's surreal that this possibility has to be couched in such terms now, huh?), and once that happens, I don't see any way that SCOTUS could let such a situation remain unresolved with no national decision.

    So It looks to me like we have just gone from A) expecting a June 2015 nation-wide decision for the remaining 31 states to B) todays decision which adds 11 states, followed quickly by 12 more states with circuit wins in the 6th, 9th, and 11th, and then probably a one-year delay for a SCOTUS decision to win the last few states after a possible loss in the 5th and/or 8th.

  • 183. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Some claim there has been a loss already in the 8th.

  • 184. Fledge01  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Yes, but even if SCOTUS grants cert to a future case, ME will continue within those states that are within the circuits that were denied cert today. Those states affected by todays ruling must forever abide by the rulings of their respective circuit appeals court unless a brand new case is brought up after a potential SCOTUS ruling supporting state bans. In the meantime all the states affected today will have re-written their laws and will have begun issuing and recognizing gay marriages. It would be very legally messy to undue what is about to take place at the state level in all the states in the 4th 7th and 10th.

    SCOTUS new this would happen. They knew it would be much easier to rule today against a current case in front of them than it would be to deny cert today and rule against ME in a future case. The legal landscape has now changed because of the direct actions all these new states will be taking starting today to enact ME in their state.

    Not only did SCOTUS know this when they denied cert, all the remaining circuits, that haven't ruled yet, know that SCOTUS know this. I think the 6th and the 9th will now go back and start editing their rulings. They know SCOTUS would not have denied cert today only to rule against ME someday in the future. If they thought it was at all possible they might someday rule against ME, they would not have allowed the new status quo to dig itself in and make it so legally messy now go back and change things.

  • 185. SeattleRobin  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    There was a pre-Windsor loss there. But Windsor, combined with recent circuit court decisions and this denial of certs by SCOTUS should provide enough legal development for new cases to be brought. And the 8th would have a much more difficult time now to uphold the bans without looking like idiots.

  • 186. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Precisely. It is quite possible that the conservatives engineered our victory today so it would not be the full victory we deserve. Still, it is very good to have the increased number of "free" states. If, however, we do not have marriage equality nation-wide within a reasonable time frame (Jeffrey Toobin says it may take two years), then we may look back on this day as less of a cause of jubilation that we do now.

  • 187. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    The 8th circ. decision in 2006 relied heavily on Baker as precedent from SCOTUS.Today Baker was terribly weakened as a credible argument, if not totally shattered.

  • 188. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Statement of Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign:

    "Today, the Supreme Court made history – bringing final marriage victories to 5 states and paving the way for 6 more.

    But a partial victory is still only partial – justice delayed is justice denied. While more than half the people in this country live in marriage equality states, that means nearly 50 percent of all same-sex couples in America still suffer in states with marriage discrimination.

    More than ever before, this nation is divided into two Americas. Thanks to your support, the borders of legal equality are expanding. But too many Americans are still stuck behind a dark wall of discrimination – in places like my home state of Arkansas. Today, an LGBT person can cross state lines and step into a different legal reality.

    It is for exactly this reason that HRC remains fully committed to creating one America for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, united under a single banner of fairness. Through HRC’s Project One America, the nation’s largest coordinated campaign in the South with a dedicated staff based in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, we are working toward that future every day – changing hearts, minds and laws toward equality. "

  • 189. Margo Schulter  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    This is a fascinating example of how denial of certiorari technically decides nothing (apart from simply letting the lower court decision stand, at least for the moment), but practically can speak volumes about how our Constitution is now being interpreted.

    Actually I wasn’t so surprised, and was almost rooting for this scenario, because it very likely means, as other have well observed, an end to the policy of gay=stay!

    That seems to me the scenario of “percolation, at breathtaking speed” that Justice Ginsburg may prefer, with the ultimate SCOTUS ruling being more a ratification of a fait accompli.

    Of course, the lower federal courts (and state courts, too) are the driving engine, more than legislative change — not surprisingly, given all of the state anti-marriage amendments that chill normal legislative debate and action. But it’s still percolation, with a down-home federal district judge (and I mean that in the best sense!) like Magistrate Judge Candy Dale in Idaho bringing the good news of marriage equality in a local and commonsense voice.

    Here the courts are reflecting the more and more widespread popular support of marriage equality, and doing so in often very readable prose. We have Judge Heyburn of Kentucky confirming the obvious: “These arguments are not those of reasonable people.” And we have Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit using a telling phrase not necessarily so often associated with the lofty realm of constitutional jurisprudence: “Go figure.”

    So, whatever the intents of the justices at the moment Windsor was decided, what we have is a decentralized process of enforcing the Fourteenth Amendment and at the same time educating the public in each district or circuit as to what that result is the only one consistent with the Law of the Land.

  • 190. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Theoretically, an Appeals Court could drag their feet on issuing a ruling all the way past June, 2015. So, to your point, all 50 states might not have ME and this new SCOTUS strategy is a result of this action.

  • 191. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Baker could be used in any CIrcuit District where the AC did not directly strike it down. I do not know if any of today's cases have that situation, but we need to watch for this in everyone of the upcoming rulings.

  • 192. Margo Schulter  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    My apologies: Judge Heyburn’s quote was actually, “These arguments are not those of serious people,” rather than reasonable people. It may be a distinction without so much of a difference, but I do want to get his words right.

  • 193. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Federal Judge Hinkle is now free to lift the FL stay. Of course, this equally applies to any state not covered by today's ruling and under a gay stay. It would not surprise me if there were filings tomorrow morning. "The likelihood of success" just crashed for states trying to keep their stays in place.

  • 194. Margo Schulter  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    brandall, I agree that Baker has not, of course, been overruled by the SCOTUS denial of cert. — because a denial of cert. doesn’t set a precedent of any kind!

    However, I also agree with others who are pointing out that “the dog who didn’t bark” could be sounding an important signal to jurists such as Judge Sutton in the Sixth Circuit. And the logic is quite simple.

    If SCOTUS was willing to let the decisions of the Tenth, Fourth, and Seventh Circuits stand, with marriages in the States of those cases and other States within these circuits swiftly following, then it evidently didn’t see these decisions for marriage equality as going against any continuing precedential value of Baker. And there is an important distinction here.

    When SCOTUS reaches a full ruling on the merits after granting cert. and hearing oral arguments, then the usual understanding is that lower courts should not later take that case to have been overruled sub silentio by later SCOTUS decisions which seem to point in another direction — sub silentio or “under silence” meaning by implication, without explicitly saying that the older case is no longer valid precedent.

    With a summary disposition such as Baker, however, subsequent “doctrinal developments” can serve to erode the force of the decision and ultimately render it more or less irrelevant. Justice Ginsburg in the 2013 arguments for Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Proposition 8 case, suggested that Baker had effectively been eroded by decisions regarding sex discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination alike. Her point, of course, was underscored by the Windsor decision.

    So, yes, technically Baker can still be cited and argued. But those of us who are Baker Street Irregulars may take note in these cert. denials of the dog who did not bark.

  • 195. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    They looked for an emergency exit door on Hollingsworth and found one. I'm with you…they took another emergency exit door. But at least lots more folks can be married now.

  • 196. brandall  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Chris Johnson is tweeting Missouri AG is dropping their appeal recognizing out of state marriages.

  • 197. JayJonson  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Excellent development.

  • 198. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    http://ago.mo.gov/newsreleases/2014/Attorney_Gene

  • 199. SeattleRobin  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I understand, Dave. But what's bothering me a great deal is that even after all the advances we've made over the last six and a half decades, SCOTUS has still relegated us to obtaining our rights in a piecemeal approach. When I came out in 1985 that was understandable. In 2014 I find it completely unacceptable.

  • 200. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    This day just keeps getting better..It's kinda scary if one thinks about it ! Let's hope the momentum continues !

  • 201. jjcpelayojr  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I have to say…having had no earlier context or info about the Missouri AG's position or politics, that is quite a mature response from him…

  • 202. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I pray for a 9th Circuit decision tomorrow.

  • 203. sfbob  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Shouldn't take them long.

  • 204. guitaristbl  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Unlikely, but let's be patient. There are 6 states to establish marriage equality now, going through all the bureaucratic jibber jabber. We have waited so long and in a day we got 11 states effectively. Let's not get too ahead. Slow and steady steps.

  • 205. JeffnRob  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Does anyone know if Oklahoma will now recognize out of state same-sex marriages?
    Thanks

  • 206. Terence  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    They've already started issuing licences.
    http://www.koco.com/news/ap-supreme-court-rejects

  • 207. SoCal_Dave  |  October 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    This is very funny, considering that SCOTUS essentially did 'nothing'. How much less activist can one be?

  • 208. sfbob  |  October 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Nothing would please these people short of imposing Sharia Law. Of course they'd have to market it as "Christian morality" but it would be essentially the same thing.

  • 209. JeffnRob  |  October 6, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I know, and am so excited. But, we were married last year in California. Will our California marriage be recognized in Oklahoma?

  • 210. DrPatrick1  |  October 6, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Omg! I predicted this, to much disagreement from many on this site, and yet it is still so shocking! Wow!

  • 211. Zack12  |  October 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    That one could take a couple of months, as could the ones in WY,SC etc.

  • 212. Zack12  |  October 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    What a truly amazing day.

  • 213. SoCal_Dave  |  October 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks for that great image, David. LOL. I think Oaks is confused by the word "civility" – he thinks it means take away civil rights.

  • 214. franklinsewell  |  October 6, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    JeffnRob: Here's language from the 10th circuit ruling in Smith V. Bishop, which indicates that Oklahoma is required by the ruling to recognize such marriages …

    Our merits disposition is governed by our ruling in Kitchen v. Herbert, No 13-
    4178, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11935 (10th Cir. June 25, 2014). In that companion case,
    we held that: (1) plaintiffs who wish to marry a partner of the same sex or have such
    marriages recognized seek to exercise a fundamental right; and (2) state justifications for
    banning same-sex marriage that turn on the procreative potential of opposite-sex couples
    do not satisfy the narrow tailoring test applicable to laws that impinge upon fundamental
    liberties. Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and governed by our ruling in
    Kitchen, we affirm.

  • 215. JeffnRob  |  October 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Thank you

  • 216. Applebear40  |  October 6, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Today i feel like i have marched in the Civil Rights Era for Equal not special rights. Today is a good day in America. Peace

  • 217. Rick55845  |  October 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    I'm with you, Robin. I'm really excited by all today's developments, and I couldn't be more pleased for same-sex couples in the affected states. But as a resident of Texas, I find it unacceptable that my New Mexico marriage is not recognized here, and that my gay and lesbian friends here are still relegated (along with me and my husband) to second-class status.

  • 218. Waxr  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I disagree. With the addition of several more states permitting SSM, it will be harder than ever to defend the ban. Some states won't even fight it because they see which way SCOTUS will go.

    Get ready for a flood of new court decisions in favor of ME. It is just a question of how many holdouts there will be, if any., and tere is a good chance that there won't be any.

  • 219. RnL2008  |  October 6, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    The AG for South Carolina stated today that he will continue to fight to uphold a ban that he ALREADY knows is UNCONSTITUTIONAL……..some folks just CAN'T help showing off their stupidity!!!

  • 220. SethInMaryland  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    the SC att gen is a idiot , the lower court is going to have quicly rule following the 4th and no stay can nor will be issued , he shouldn't in any lawoffice if he can't follow the rules of the court

  • 221. RobW303  |  October 7, 2014 at 12:11 am

    I don't think their intentions are clear at all.

  • 222. RobW303  |  October 7, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Koster has announced that he won't appeal, at least not the marriage recognition case. The St. Louis case directly concerning marriage equality will be the real case to watch. I suspect, however, that the legislature will give itself the right to appeal these cases, ignoring the SCOTUS's "clear signal". And there will be a lot of noise about impeaching Koster.

  • 223. RobW303  |  October 7, 2014 at 12:27 am

    But they had the option to relist. There's more to this story.

  • 224. RnL2008  |  October 7, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Would re-listing these appeals truly change the outcome of how they voted? Who would be injured more…..Gays and Lesbians? or the State? Marriage Equality has been flying through at amazing rates, but by NOT granting cert……maybe the Justices thought it would send a message to the lower Federal Courts and they could be essentially "LET OFF THE HOOK" and still look pretty good in the eyes of History.

    Whatever the reason……..trust me, this fight ISN'T totally done…..the anti-gays will step back a bit, lick their wounds and try to harm us in other ways!!!

    What a bunch of sick, hopeless SOB's…..meaning the anti-gay folks!!!

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