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Supreme Court declines to halt Alaska same-sex marriages

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

The Supreme Court has allowed same-sex marriage to move forward in Alaska.

The temporary stay of the ruling striking down Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban was set to dissolve at 3PM ET, just a few minutes ago. That stay was put in place so the state could ask the Supreme Court for a stay pending appeal. Justice Kennedy, in his capacity as Circuit Justice for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, was asked to put the ruling on hold and a decision was expected before the stay dissolved. SCOTUSBlog notes that it came down just before the deadline.

SCOTUSBlog reports that there’s no reasoning given, and no noted dissents.

UPDATE Here is the order, via Equality Case Files.

60 Comments

  • 1. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I put a match up to my screen. That put a little heat on the PDF file from SCOTUS. There was a secret message in disappearing ink…it said, "Nice try, but really?"

  • 2. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I put a match up to my screen. That put a little heat on the PDF file from SCOTUS. There was a secret message in disappearing ink…it said, "Nice try, but really? Can't you take a HINT?"

  • 3. Zack12  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    According to the Alaska newspaper, today is a state holiday so marriages can't begin right away.

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Apologies that I didn't get this post up right when the news broke. WordPress didn't want to cooperate.

  • 5. guitaristbl  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Expected to a certain degree but still such a great way to end the 2nd week of the marriage equality tidal wave.
    The message is clear : Are you in the 10th, 4th or 9th ? We won't give you a stay no matter if its a district court ruling or a COA ruling !
    WY,MT,SC,KS : I hope you get the message. Get it done quickly with not much fuss before or after.

  • 6. DrPatrick1  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    10/6/14 19 states with marriage equality
    10/17/14 19 states without marriage equality

    That is all

  • 7. MichaelGrabow  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    In a related message…Attention 6th circuit, do you see what is going on here?

  • 8. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    That is truly an amazing fact. I don't know how you figured it out, but thank you.

  • 9. SethInMaryland  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    doesn't the US wiki map looks so good in more blue and less red

  • 10. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I wish the map for Democratic controlled state legislatures looked the same.

  • 11. RnL2008  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    I believe that SCOTUS has given notice to the other Courts as well….DON'T come asking for a stay if your Appellate Court HAS already ruled against you!!!

    I also believe that if a circuit split should happen, SCOTUS will take it ONLY to rule the other bans UNCONSTITUTIONAL as well……because I can't see SCOTUS ruling ANY other way at this point!

  • 12. BenjiCA  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Anyone want to start a game of "last circuit standing" and "last state standing"? :) that doesn't allow marriage equality? :)

  • 13. RnL2008  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I'll play……my guess is Texas and the 5th!!!

  • 14. Zack12  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I'm going with Nebraska and the 8th.

  • 15. Swifty819  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I also found massive site lag around the time. Could these things have been related? Maybe everyone was trying to get on here to check for updates?

  • 16. Steve27516  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    31 states, Rose, 31 states!
    :-)

  • 17. RnL2008  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Cool, is it 31 or 32 now? This train is moving way to fast!!!

  • 18. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Yes, the entire site was timing out for a a few minutes. I can almost always tell when you are creating a new article/ID combo because I get slight hangs. But, today it really took a while. Keep up the GREAT work!

  • 19. guitaristbl  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I believe it will be an 8th circuit state (if the 6th rules in favour of ME and the 5th against) – most likely North Dakota – or a 5th circuit state (if the 6th rules against) – most likely Mississipi.

  • 20. Steve27516  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    LOL.
    It's "just" 31 now. But we've picked up 12 states in 11 days – with more on the way next week!
    Just keep your arms and legs inside the Equality Train at all times and enjoy the ride!

  • 21. RnL2008  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you Steve……and I will keep arms and legs inside the train because it is picking up speed and moving fast:-)

  • 22. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Anyone who applied for a license before the stay was put in place has (or will have) a valid license either today or three days after the application (there is a three-day 'wait' between application and license in Alaska). If a couple has a minister, captain, judge, officiant who holds a 'one-day officiant' license, etc., can get married today, Saturday, or Sunday without going through a state office to get married.

    In other words, marriages began as soon as the stay ended, and SCOTUS didn't extend it.

  • 23. RnL2008  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    My flag has been updated now……yeah!!!

  • 24. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Tweets incoming: Wyoming Marriage Ban Struck Down! from FTM. Update the map again!

  • 25. RemC_Chicago  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Poetry!

  • 26. RnL2008  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Do you have a link? I thought the ruling wasn't due out until Monday

  • 27. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Dang it! Preliminary injunction and a temporary stay.
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/243372518/2-14-cv-0020

  • 28. ragefirewolf  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Aye

  • 29. guitaristbl  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    He said he would rule the latest at Monday at 5 p.m., so he could rule at anytime. I did not expect it though ! After a few relatively slow days, this day granted the most ME states since October 6 !

  • 30. Zack12  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I imagine it won't take long for the temp stay to be lifted, not after what just happened in Alaska.

  • 31. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Temporary injunction until Thursday, 10/23 @ 5pm -or- Defendants state they will decline to appeal.

  • 32. Zack12  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    You know they will appeal jsut to drag this out a little bit longer.

  • 33. guitaristbl  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The fact that quotes from Hobby Lobby were used in this decision by Skavdahl makes me feel rather awkward to be honest..Never thought this decision I consider heinous, be used in a way that helps LGBT equality.

  • 34. guitaristbl  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The fact that quotes from Hobby Lobby were used in this decision by Skavdahl makes me feel rather awkward to be honest..Never thought this decision I consider heinous, be used in a way that helps LGBT equality.

    "The Court understands that every day same sex couples are denied their constitutional rights is another day filled with irreperable harm. But it is at least equally important that all same-sex marriages carry the same prominence and finality that attend opposite-sex marriage, including the various obligations and liabilities incumbent within the marital relationship".

    I respect what he says and if you think about it, it shows a peculiar and indirect respect to same sex marriages by wanting them on sturdy legal grounds. But given the 10th's decision and recent actions by SCOTUS I can't see what Skavdahl is implying here that could happen, unless SCOTUS reviews a ME case.

  • 35. RnL2008  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Why grant even a temporary stay when the ruling from the 10th is binding precedent and is UNLIKELY to be changed?

  • 36. Fortguy  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    What is the point of lifting the stay at 5 pm at the precise hour when county clerks are locking their offices for the day?

  • 37. RemC_Chicago  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Well, the Governor has indicated he won't appeal. Can't recall the AG's position. Anyone?

  • 38. MichaelGrabow  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    This needs as many thumbs up as the number of people who read EoT.

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  October 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    "Our constitution is the shortest and longest surviving written charter of government.Enlightened by their past experiences, its framers wisely seperated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rules and minority rights, of liberty and equality, and of the federal and state governments. It is upon these principles that we live together in this country as Americans and it is the fabric that we have chosen to weave together, in compromise of our indepedents strands of existence – this is our democracy."

    This sounds nice but it's quite ambigious on whether it talks about the rights of the plaintiffs or state rights. Reading even further it's obvious that if he wasn't bound by precedent he would have ruled against equality and goes on a mini rant to show his point by quoting Glucksberg.

    "The preferred forum for addressing the issue presented by plaintiffs in this case is the arena of public debate and legislative action. However that ship has sailed. It is not the DESIRE or PREFERENCE of this court to, with a stroke of a pen, erase a state's legislative enactments. Nonetheless, the binding precedent of Kitchen and Bishop mandate this result, and this court will adhere to its constitutional duties and abide by the rule of law."

    In short, if it wasn't for the 10th I would become Feldman No.2 and since I can't I will show you how much I did not want to rule that way. But in the meantime let's do everything possible to keep you from ME. Anyway…

  • 40. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Sorry, I don't understand. Lifting what stay?

  • 41. RnL2008  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Why would the plaintiffs appeal when they won?

  • 42. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Urgh!!!! Deleting. Sorry.

  • 43. RQO  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Several sites. In spite of discontinued coverage on national news for the most part, there are still a hell of a lot of people watching.

  • 44. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    According to the decision, it was using the court's discretion to permit the Defendent's the opportunity to appeal to the 10th AC.

  • 45. RQO  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I totally made up my story and I'm sticking to it: smile, no Circuit splits. Bombing Ft. Sumter has been tried. "Success" didn't last too long.

  • 46. MichaelGrabow  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    See RemC's comment below.

  • 47. StraightDave  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    My math says 12 states flipped in 11 days.
    19/31 becomes 31/19.

    HOE. LEE. CRAP!

    That big a bomb will not ever happen again, not even if SCOTUS wipes out the 5th, 8th, and 11th all at once.

  • 48. RQO  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Actually, I'm not sure they will drag it out. WY conservatives are cussed cowboys, not voodoo worshipers.

  • 49. Fortguy  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    The stay ending 10/23 allowing defendants opportunity to appeal to the 10th.

  • 50. Zack12  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    At least he issued the ruling versus Judge Childs of SC who is dragging out.
    And from what I've read up on him, he appears to be a Democrat so it appears he really, really wanted to join Judge Straub of the Second Circuit as one of the few Democrats to rule against us.

  • 51. Fortguy  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    At any rate the Northern Plains can now bill itself as the New Deep South. Who knew?

  • 52. RemC_Chicago  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Can't find any recent reference to the AG's stance—Peter K Michael—except that he is presumably a supporter of Governor Mead's—With any luck, he'll side with his buddy and reject any further actions from the State.

  • 53. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    This was a concern in an earlier thread about WY. The plaintiffs' only asked for a preliminary injunction. They did not move for a summary judgement.

  • 54. guitaristbl  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    We can practically say that we found the first Obama appointee who would rule against ME if he could. We are lucky he couldn't. It's not important right now of course but it's worth noting. It's the first pro equality opinion I cannot stand reading, especially its last pages. He could not restrain his need to tell us how much he disagrees with the ruling he has to issue.

  • 55. StraightDave  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Even if the AG wants to appeal, it won't provoke another stay.
    SCOTUS just told everyone that stays aren't on the menu anymore, regardless of whether the ruling was from a district court (AK) or circuit (ID). The 10th didn't even want to give UT a stay 10 long months ago. Not gonna happen now. Marriages will start next Fri at the latest, but I suspect WY can read the writing on the wall and will cave on Monday.

  • 56. brandall  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I can't think of any reason to pick 5pm other than, to your point, he knows there will be no SSM that day.

    The Judge is not exactly wild about having to issue this opinion, although he did conduct an honest assessment of why he could not grant a permanent stay (he checked all 4 boxes clearly in favor of the Plaintiff's). He's giving them 4 full days. With the current process we've been watching…today or Morning morning, file an appeal with the AC. Tuesday, it is denied by the AC. Tuesday file with the SCOTUS. Wednesday PM briefs will be due. Sometime Thursday SCOTUS say's denied.

  • 57. TonyMinasTirith  |  October 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Even Dems have the religious wrong among them. george Wallace was a Dem, lest we forget. But these relegious fanatics are the exception among the Dems and the rule for the republicobs. Just something to remember come Nov 4th.

  • 58. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Since the stay will lift on a Thursday, some offices might stay open 1-4 hours after the stay is lifted (if it is not extended). After all, they have almost a week to prepare. Or the offices might take the time Thursday evening for the expected 'rush' of applicants on Friday (in a state as large as Wyoming, and with a population of less than 600,000. how big of a rush will there be?).

    In the meantime, are the applications and/or licenses ready for ME? Male/female or Spouse A and Spouse B? It might take a bit of time for the state to get the instructions out to the county clerks, judges, etc. on how to conduct themselves (does Wyoming want a repeat of the incidents in NC?), or how to handle 'non-conforming' paperwork.

  • 59. Roulette00  |  October 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I'm fine with that wording. It gives conservative judges a quote to cling to as they are searching previous opinions for guidance. They don't have to like it, or like that the case is before them; they just have to follow the law.

  • 60. Zack12  |  October 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I'll remember it, the problem is many won't or they are in states where they are the minority.

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