SCOTUS issues Utah stay (Updated)

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2014


The Supreme Court on Monday blocked further same-sex marriages in Utah while state officials appeal a decision allowing such unions.

The terse order, from the full court, issued a stay “pending final disposition” of an appeal to the federal appeals court in Denver. It offered no reasoning.

UPDATE from Jim B: Here’s the U.S. Supreme Court order (PDF: 27KB/1 page):


The application for stay presented to Justice Sotomayor and by her referred to the Court is granted. The permanent injunction issued by the United States District Court for the District of Utah, case No. 2:13-cv-217, on December 20, 2013, is stayed pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Marriages entered into thus far are still in effect. There just won’t be any new ones for a while. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog speculates that “The order appeared to have the support of the full Court, since there were no noted dissents,” but “The order, however, cannot be interpreted as a dependable indication of how the Court will rule on the issue when it finally decides to do so directly.”

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will continue with its expidited review of the lower court decision. Brief submittals occur between January 27 and February 25. No date has been set for oral arguments.


January 6th, 2014

Those people who rushed to get married were smart, I commend them.

Unfortunately it seems like one of those odious justices is still far from dying off the bench or retiring from it.

It’s as if they’re holding out as much as they can until a Republican president makes it back in.


January 6th, 2014

Somewhat disappointing, but not surprising really. I was actually more surprised when the 10th Circuit didn’t issue a stay of its own.

enough already

January 6th, 2014

This is not unexpected.
Had Justice Sotomayor denied the request, the LDS State of Utah, would have just gone to Justice Scalia and gotten what they wanted.
This way, there can be no kicking and screaming about ‘activist justices’.

Paul Douglas

January 6th, 2014

The fundagelical christianist TeaBaggers will always complain about “activist judges” unless it THEIR activist judges.
Unfortunately Lucrece, the oldest judge is Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I hardly think she is awaiting a republicon president.

Sir Andrew

January 6th, 2014

Justice Ginsberg recently said that Justices should serve as long as they can and try to time their departures to a like-minded president being in office.

As for those conservative justices trying to wait for a GOP president: I fear they will have been long returned to the ashes of the earth before a Republican is allowed in the White House again.

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2014


You lose credibility when you call names.

Sadly, so too does the entire site.


January 6th, 2014

My conjecture as to why SCOTUS approved a Stay:

SCOTUS seems to take national emotional temperatures into consideration when making decisions, in order to avoid “uprisings”. I think they monitor ‘to much too fast’. I don’t doubt that the meltdown uber religious Utah was having within its official ranks calling for an “uprising”, had something to do with SCOTUS pulling the screeching tea kettle off the billowing burner.

That state probably got hit the hardest with opposing realities considering its religious formation, being slammed just days before the most uber religious holiday of the year, Christmas. From all indication, they were about to blow. If anything, SCOTUS probably saw “irreparable harm” in the form of possible deaths, if they didn’t offer a Stay.

Utah of all states needs a slow burn, and a Stay is one good way to do it without violence erupting at many levels.

Judeo-Christian literal belief is in an insane war god, (their ultimate role model), and war-god-craziness makes many of them dangerous at almost every level of society. Best be tempered by sane calming parent figures like SCOTUS, rather than let the unruly children run violently wild in the streets.

As for us having again to watch another, at least partial Prop 8 play out, the saying that comes to mind is: “Patience is a Virtue”. AND …. this could be the big SCOTUS case we have all been waiting for.
Silver lining in this sitch? I think maybe so.

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