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Ninth Circuit halts briefing in Hawaii federal marriage equality case

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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed briefing in Jackson v. Abercrombie, a challenge to Hawaii’s former same-sex marriage ban. In a text order, the appeals court noted:

Briefing in these consolidated appeals is stayed pending further order of the court. The court will address all pending motions by separate order.

This move was expected, following Governor Abercrombie’s signing of the marriage equality bill last week.

Yesterday, EqualityOnTrial reported that a Hawaii judge has declined to prevent same-sex marriages from being performed, beginning December 2, while a separate state challenge unfolds. That case involves a dispute over the state constitutional marriage amendment’s language. The amendment reads: “The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” Opponents of same-sex marriage argue the amendment prevents marriage equality from ever becoming legal in Hawaii, though that was not the intent of the amendment. Hawaii’s attorney general has issued a legal opinion stating at the amendment simply gives the legislature the option to define marriage as opposite-sex only; it doesn’t compel the legislature to do so.

The decision to allow marriages to go forward may mean that the challenge won’t succeed ultimately.

In Jackson, the federal challenge at the Ninth Circuit, a request had been made by the plaintiffs to delay the filing of their opening brief until December 22. The order staying the briefing schedule came after that request. Now that Hawaii’s new law has been signed, the challenge is likely moot.

Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for the text order


  • 1. davep  |  November 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Pointless grandstanding and sour grapes from the anti-SSM side. The wording is clear. The legislature has the power to deny civil marriage to same sex couples. And the legislature has done their job by acknowledging that, due to overriding constitutional principles of equal justice and equal protection under the law, they were compelled to decide to stop using that power and grant same sex couples equal access to civil marriage.

    If they have the power and authority to do something, they also have the power and authority to decide to STOP doing it when it becomes clear that this is what ought to happen.

  • 2. _BK_  |  November 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Wasn't there a consolidated Hawaii-Nevada case in the system? Perhaps my understanding is flawed.

  • 3. Larry  |  November 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    They weren't consolidated, but were proceeding parallel to each other. Now it's only necessary for the Nevada case to move forward.

  • 4. Zack12  |  November 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    They aren't giving up,no surprises at all.
    Here in NY,they didn't stop until it got all the way to the State Supreme Court where they were told to basically deal with the fact gay marriage was the law of the land in NY.

  • 5. Seth From Maryland  |  November 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Nike forms PAC to support marriage equality: Nike Inc. has formed a PAC to support marriage equality and seeded it with $280,000 from the company and its executives.
    "We are committed to diversity and inclusion and strive to treat our employees equally," the company said in a statement. "We believe that diversity drives innovation and allows us to attract and retain world class talent. For Oregon businesses to attract and retain the best talent, we need fair and equitable laws that treat all Oregonians equally and prevent discrimination."
    The Nike Equality PAC will raise funds from Nike-affiliated donors and support marriage equality.
    The PAC will work closely with the Oregon United for Marriage campaign, a coalition of businesses and individuals working to earn same-sex couples the right to marry.

  • 6. SoCal_Dave  |  November 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    OT, but of interest. Oklahoma goes to extreme lengths to preserve its bigotry.

  • 7. Zack12  |  November 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Not surprised at all. While the South dukes it out for the bigotry title,there are at least major cities that are gay friendly such as Houston and Atlanta.
    Not the case in Oklahoma. It is(IMO) truly one of the most if not the most anti-gay state in the country and the politicians from there prove it.
    Marry Fallon,James Inholfe,Tom Coburn and former Senator Don Nickles who was the Senate sponsor of DOMA back in 96 are just a few names to mention.
    Throw in the Blue Dogs as well. Drew Boren was one of the only Democrats to vote for the Federal Marriage Amendment in both 04 and 06.
    It will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century,like it has on other issues as well.

  • 8. Dr. Z  |  November 20, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Sad. This woman is the teabagger's teabagger.

    Of course, this is coming from a state whose largest newspaper printed the names and addresses of the men arrested in an antigay sweep of a public park in Oklahoma City – on the front page, above the fold – in 2004.

  • 9. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  November 20, 2013 at 8:26 am

    […] USA, Hawaii: The Hawaii marriage equality lawsuit is being shelved after Hawaii’s legislature passed a marriage equality bill. full story […]

  • 10. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  November 20, 2013 at 8:26 am

    […] USA, Hawaii: The Hawaii marriage equality lawsuit is being shelved after Hawaii’s legislature passed a marriage equality bill. full story […]

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