Shelby denies stay

Timothy Kincaid

December 23rd, 2013

Judge Shelby has denied a stay of his ruling on marriage equality. Marriages can continue.

The state will now go back to the Tenth Circuit and ask them to stay the ruling pending appeal. They have said “no” twice, but those denials were based on procedure (a court can issue an emergency stay outside of ordinary procedure – they chose not to). It is difficult to know how the Appellate Court will respond to the third request.

enough already

December 23rd, 2013

I wonder whether two decisions made by Utah’s politicians on Friday and continuing through the weekend didn’t play a role in both courts’ refusals to grant a stay.

First, every politician and LDS official (same thing in Utah) said really nasty things about ‘activist judges’ and demeaned this highly esteemed, extremely conservative judge in very loud, public terms.
Second, the flaunting of contempt of court behavior by several county clerks, and the encouragement to remain in contempt they received at the hands of the state.

Judges don’t care to see their rulings disregarded. Nor do their superior courts care to see the judges under their court so publicly reviled.

The Mormons need to learn that they are subject to the same laws which govern the rest of this constitutional republic as are everyone else in this country. I suspect both courts would have been more welcoming, had they not been so clearly told their authority is null and void in the Mormon theocracy of Utah.

Sir Andrew

December 23rd, 2013

An interesting commentary, enough. I hadn’t even factored those matters into my views.

What I’m looking at is the requirement for a stay. The appellants much show that there is the reasonable expectation that they will prevail on appeal. With the numerous rulings across the nation all using the same language to toss these bans, I don’t see the 10th seeing things any differently. This is a societal change whose time has come and the Mormons can’t stop it. They should just take a step back and accept their loss. It doesn’t affect them anyway. They’ll still have their marriage limitations as a part of their religion; allowing gay marriage for everyone else won’t change things for them.


December 23rd, 2013

Personally, I think both the state and LDS officials are startled at the number of couples showing up for marriage licenses. As I understand it, one of their grounds for a stay is that Judge Shelby’s ruling has created “chaos” at courthouses in Utah. Kind of like saying, “Too many people are happy about this so you have to put a stop to it, 10th Circuit. And, besides, it’s out of OUR control and everyone knows WE control things in Utah!”

enough already

December 23rd, 2013

I think you’ve mentioned a very important factor in this: Utah is a theocracy, tolerated by the federal government.
It’s time that come to an end.


December 23rd, 2013

It’s hard to say if the judges are affected by the contumely thrown at them now, or ever.

It would be incredible to see a judge this level rule in anger; they aren’t local justices of the peace.

It’s just a part of being a judge and they, as much as anyone, are aware of excited words spoken in-the-moment. A decent judicial temperament, which at their level they should have mastered, would be immune to it.

That’s not to say that they aren’t human and that they aren’t capable of withholding (or extending) minor favors. But all-in-all, a tempered judge will revere the legal process and the rule of law — despite the torches and pitchforks he can see out the windows of the courtroom.

For something completely different: I just love how Mormon behavior, so arrogantly on display up to now, has thoroughly and without question greased the skids for this thing to come sliding through the wall and into the very center of their little home.

They did it to themselves, and insurance isn’t going to cover it.

enough already

December 24th, 2013

I think you are right in your analysis – professionals at such a high level are above such pettiness.

My concern is more the refusal of several Utah counties to follow federal law. It’s a flaunting of Mormon theocracy which a federal court must not permit to stand. It needs to be slapped down and slapped down hard.

Judge Shelby made that clear yesterday. The fact that these counties are still refusing to follow the law of the land must now be recognized and the responsible Mormon officials punished to the maximum extent possible.

No, his decision was not based on their contempt of court nor on their hateful words. The contempt of court most definitely will shape the actions of his and higher courts in their response, though. I don’t recall the word, not being a lawyer, but having lived in the Deep South in the 60’s and 70’s, I know that responsiveness to existing law does play a role in how a court treats officials.

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