Idaho Governor Requests ‘En Banc’ 9th Circuit Hearing of Gay Marriage Ruling

Idaho Governor C.L. 'Butch' Otter has requested that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals take up the appeal of the state's gay marriage case with a full 11-judge panel rather than just three judges.

OtterEquality on Trial reports:

An initial en banc hearing in that case, the filing suggested, would allow the Ninth Circuit to have a circuit-wide, binding decision on the issue of same-sex marriage, as well as the issue of the level of judicial scrutiny that should be applied to laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

The state’s filing notes that the Ninth Circuit has already fast-tracked the Idaho case, as well as a similar challenge from Nevada. The state argues that the appeals court’s resolution of same-sex marriage “will carry profound legal and broader social consequences for all people within the Ninth Circuit,” and that “a decision by an eleven-judge panel stands far higher and stronger than does a decision by a three-judge panel — just as a decision by a three-judge panel stands far higher and stronger than does a decision by a single judge.”

The state also points to the ongoing dispute in SmithKline Beecham v. Abbott Laboratories as a reason for the Ninth Circuit to resolve the scrutiny issue in the Idaho case. In the SmithKline case, a Ninth Circuit judge called for a vote on whether to rehear that case with an en banc panel.

More at Equality on Trial.

View the brief here.