Idaho Marriages May Begin Today But Governor Seeks Stay

Jim Burroway

October 8th, 2014

Ada County (Boise) Clerk Chris Rich told the Idaho Statesman that he’s ready to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples when the courthouse opens at 8 a.m. MDT. Rich said that he was acting on instructions from the Idaho Attorney General’s office, which told him to continue issuing licenses “until he hears otherwise.”

That was last night. Early this morning, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter filed a motion with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a stay of the court’s ruling that struck down Idaho’s marriage equality ban as unconstitutional:

“Each same-sex marriage performed will be contrary to the interests of the state and its citizens in being able to define marriage through ordinary democratic channels,” wrote Thomas C. Perry, counsel for the governor, in one of three filings this morning.

A stay would allow the state to seek a review by the entire 9th Circuit Court of Appeals of Tuesday’s ruling by a three-member panel. Perry wrote the state is also prepared to press the matter before the United States Supreme Court.

Whether marriages will actually begin in Idaho this morning is anybody’s guess right now.


October 8th, 2014

Under the heading “We’re going to be dragged into this kicking and screaming.”

Whether he can get an en banc hearing is up for grabs, but I’d guess not. Given the 9th’s finding in Prop 8 and the findings of every other appellate court to hear these cases so far, Idaho has little chance of success on the merits. And the only reason the Supreme Court would hear an appeal at this point is because of the 9th’s heightened scrutiny, which I doubt SCOTUS wants to deal with.

And just to rub salt into the wound, there’s this, from the 9th’s opinion:

“He also states, in conclusory fashion, that allowing same-sex marriage will lead opposite-sex couples to abuse alcohol and drugs, engage in extramarital affairs, take on demanding work schedules, and participate in time-consuming hobbies. We seriously doubt that allowing committed same-sex couples to settle down in legally recognized marriages will drive opposite-sex couples to sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.”


October 8th, 2014

I don’t get it. There’s no way the 9th would overturn this, and there’s no reason to believe the Supreme Court would take Idaho when it declined the others that went the same way. Since everybody can see that plain as day, including Idaho’s governor and including any sane members of his constituency, why bother?

(The stay, I do understand; it keeps things tidy until the official end of the road.)

Timothy Kincaid

October 8th, 2014


Some politicians don’t want to be seen as “giving up” too early.

Remember when Christie stopped fighting marriage? There were calls for impeachment and declarations that his political career was over. And the same with Sandoval.

Logic is not the important thing to those who ‘fight on’. It’s the appearance of not accepting the immoral work of Satan, even if you’re just wasting your time.

Ben in oakland

October 8th, 2014

and even if its the pot calling the kettle black.


October 8th, 2014

I know they don’t want to be seen as giving up. But who’s he trying to fool? I don’t think Idahoan voters are so stupid they can’t see as well as anyone else that this is going to go nowhere.


October 8th, 2014

The courts are ordinary democratic channels, too, you know. They are established by the Constitution, function openly, and are intended to protect due process of law which, oh by the way, is also established as a basic right in the Constitution.

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