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Group defending Hawaii’s anti-gay marriage laws asks Ninth Circuit to extend their stay of the case

Jackson Marriage Equality Trials Sevcik v Sandoval

By Scottie Thomaston

At the Ninth Circuit, defendant-intervenors in the Hawaii case challenging the state’s anti-gay marriage laws are asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to put the case on hold since the Supreme Court took up two cases that will inform the outcome of the Hawaii case, Jackson v. Abercrombie.

The Supreme Court will hear United States v. Windsor, a challenge to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, along with Hollingsworth v. Perry, a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage. The Court’s decision in these cases could provide guidance on how to review challenges to anti-gay marriage laws, the level of scrutiny to apply, and other aspects of the challenges working their way through the lower courts.

Two cases directly involving the right of same-sex couples to marry (Jackson v. Abercrombie and Sevcik v. Sandoval) and several challenges to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (including Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management and Dragovich v. US Dept. of Treasury) are on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Golinski is stayed pending the outcome of United States v. Windsor at the Supreme Court, and Dragovich is currently stayed until February 26, but there is likely to be a request for an extended stay in that case.

The Hawaii Family Forum – the defendant-intervenors in the Hawaii Jackson case – write that the two cases awaiting review before the Supreme Court “will directly impact the legal analysis and outcome of these proceedings” and that “the questions presented in those cases are undoubtedly relevant to—and perhaps controlling over—the question presented in this appeal.” They point out that the Ninth Circuit has “signaled its desire” to hold off on deciding cases related to same-sex marriage, pointing to the stay they issued in Golinski and subsequently extended.

According to the filing, all parties to the case support the motion to extend the stay of the proceedings. The Ninth Circuit will also decide whether to brief and hear arguments in the Jackson and Sevcik cases on a parallel track.

h/t Kathleen for this filing

12-16995 #23

3 Comments

  • 1. Reformed  |  December 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Why do they want to deprive the court of the benefit of more lower court decisions against discrimination? Oh, I answered my own question.

  • 2. Mike in Baltimore  |  December 20, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Can anyone else say or spell S-T-A-L-L ..T-A-C-T-I-C?

  • 3. Eric  |  December 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Let's not forget the issue of standing, which the defendant-intervenors may not have.

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