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Ninth Circuit stays Hawaii case pending Supreme Court action on Prop 8, DOMA

The Ninth Circuit grants a stay in Jackson until December 17, 2012 pending Supreme Court action in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases.  The circuit court’s order comes in response to a mid-October request by the Hawaii Family Forum (which is defending Hawaii’s marriage laws) arguing that any Supreme Court action in the Prop 8 case (formally called Hollingsworth v. Perry) could affect the arguments made in Jackson, which also addresses a federal constitutional challenge to a state’s marriage laws.

In its order, the Ninth Circuit writes that HFF can ask the Court to extend the stay when (or before) it is due to expire, but if they do not, the case will resume with a modified briefing schedule: opening briefs will be due January 16, 2013 and answering briefs will be due February 15, 2013 (with optional reply briefs due 14 days after the answering briefs are submitted).

In addition, the Ninth Circuit grants a motion filed by Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie asking the court to consolidate his appeal with the plaintiffs’ appeal, since they arise from the same case and take the same position that Hawaii’s marriage equality ban is unconstitutional.

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