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Supreme Court to Decide Stay Request for Fourth Circuit's Virginia Gay Marriage Ruling

Virginia

Chief Justice John Roberts, who’s responsible for stay requests for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, has agreed to allow the Supreme Court to decide whether or not a stay is justified in the Virginia gay marriage case.

The Fourth Circuit, which struck down the Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage late last month, originally denied county clerk Michèle McQuigg's request to stay the ruling. This led to McQuigg and the anti-gay Christian legal firm representing her, Alliance Defending Freedom, to ask the Supreme Court to intervene.

The New Civil Rights Movement reports:

Acknowledging the request, Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered information to be filed by Monday at 5:00 PM. The Court could have granted the stay as requested, refused to grant the stay, or ignored the request and not responded. The Supreme Court has granted every stay request in a same-sex marriage case since its DOMA ruling last year.

This week, the Fourth Circuit confirmed that marriages in Virginia could begin next Thursday. That still holds, unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise -- which is likely.

Stay tuned.

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Comments

  1. "The Supreme Court has granted every stay request in a same-sex marriage case since its DOMA ruling last year."

    That is wrong. The full court denied a stay request in the Oregon case, and Justice Alito denied a stay request in the Pennsylvania case without even referring the stay request to the full court. Of course, those two cases were unique because the official state "powers-that-be" were not appealing, so the parties seeking a stay were outsiders with doubtful standing to take the government's place. But the claim that SCOTUS has granted "every stay request" is just incorrect.

    Posted by: Anon | Aug 15, 2014 7:21:39 PM


  2. You should read your underlying "source material" more carefully. Although The New Civil Rights Movement reports says that the Chief Justice "has allowed the Supreme Court to decide" whether to grant a stay, that is NOT what the Supreme Court's Order says -- and you gave a link that that Order. The Order days only that Chief Justice Roberts has asked for a response by Monday; the Order does NOT say whether, after getting the response, the Chief Justice himself will rule on the request for a stay (which he is allowed to do) or whether he will refer the request to the other Justices for a ruling by the full Supreme Court (which he is also allowed to do, and he probably will do, but there is NOTHING in the Order to support this latter conclusion).

    When you are reporting on legal developments, please be careful to report accurately, and maybe have a lawyer review before you post. We are all trying to read the tea leaves in these marriage cases, and it's extremely important that the details of the tea leaves be reported correctly.

    In any event, unfortunately the Supreme Court will probably grant a stay. I hope I'm wrong, but not likely.

    Meanwhile, everyone should be awaiting the 6th Circuit decision in the 6 cases that were argued several days ago (from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky). That will be decided 2-1, for or against same sex marriage. If marriage equality wins, there it will be a game-changer as to what happens next in other courts and whether the Supreme Court takes up any of the pending appeals (Utah, Oklahoma, Virgina -- as of now).

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Aug 15, 2014 8:08:38 PM


  3. You should read your underlying "source material" more carefully. Although The New Civil Rights Movement reports says that the Chief Justice "has allowed the Supreme Court to decide" whether to grant a stay, that is NOT what the Supreme Court's Order says -- and you gave a link that that Order. The Order days only that Chief Justice Roberts has asked for a response by Monday; the Order does NOT say whether, after getting the response, the Chief Justice himself will rule on the request for a stay (which he is allowed to do) or whether he will refer the request to the other Justices for a ruling by the full Supreme Court (which he is also allowed to do, and he probably will do, but there is NOTHING in the Order to support this latter conclusion).

    When you are reporting on legal developments, please be careful to report accurately, and maybe have a lawyer review before you post. We are all trying to read the tea leaves in these marriage cases, and it's extremely important that the details of the tea leaves be reported correctly.

    In any event, unfortunately the Supreme Court will probably grant a stay. I hope I'm wrong, but not likely.

    Meanwhile, everyone should be awaiting the 6th Circuit decision in the 6 cases that were argued several days ago (from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky). That will be decided 2-1, for or against same sex marriage. If marriage equality wins, there it will be a game-changer as to what happens next in other courts and whether the Supreme Court takes up any of the pending appeals (Utah, Oklahoma, Virgina -- as of now).

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Aug 15, 2014 8:08:41 PM


  4. From what I understand both the Governor of VA and the state Attorney General are not asking SCOTUS for a stay, however a lowly county clerk has standing and can get Chief Justice Roberts to take her case and rule.

    Posted by: shanestud | Aug 15, 2014 8:24:16 PM


  5. I was going to ask about the standing question. Does a county clerk have standing to request a stay on something at the state level?

    Posted by: John | Aug 15, 2014 11:26:05 PM


  6. It's just a question of semantics. Roberts is bending over backwards to accommodate the hate group - that really shouldn't even have standing in the case. He will definitely rule for a stay. They are buying time until they can get another right winger on the court. At that time, all of our previously cherished freedoms will be in peril, as will our democracy itself.

    Posted by: Lil Kiwi | Aug 16, 2014 12:39:16 AM


  7. John: In Virginia, apparently yes. It depends what powers the state's law gives to the county clerk. In Pennsylvania, for example, individual clerks are just ministers of the state, so they don't have standing to appeal if the governor says no. It looks like in Virginia, clerks have greater powers. Or so McQuigg says in her filing.

    Posted by: Anon | Aug 16, 2014 12:46:24 AM


  8. Geez! Yeah, Kyler Geoffroy - thanks for wording your entire post terribly wrong. I thought Roberts was actually referring the stay request to the whole court, which he hasn't actually done yet. False alarm.

    Posted by: WOLF | Aug 16, 2014 10:59:01 AM


  9. Seriously, I hope you b¡tches aren't coming to Towleroad for definitive legal commentary and analysis. Ever heard of SCOTUSblog.com?

    Posted by: Tin Can People Make a Lot of Noise | Aug 16, 2014 12:42:25 PM


  10. Is this just LAZY reporting or rushed reporting, getting something to the presses asap? Will definitely have to stick to SCOTUSblog or even EqualityOnTrial.com and use towleroad for their underwear adds or TMZ style reporting. Apparently Mr. Geoffroy hasn't been following the marriage equality cases, or only reads the headlines.

    Posted by: Tony | Aug 16, 2014 7:37:23 PM


  11. From what I've noticed, it seems to me that SCOTUS seems to go along with what the top "elected" state official(s)deem appropriate for their state. In CA, current and previous Govs and AGs both supported Marriage equality, and in the END they got it. In Utah, both the GOV and AG disagree with the courts, and they got their stay. In PA, the governor, like the FED Govt, agree with courts ruling on the unconstitutionality of SSM bans, and Alito denied the request for a stay. In OR, the state officials agrees with the court and there also the stay was DENIED, Mr. Geoffroy. I'm hoping that Justice Roberts does in fact refer the request to the full court, and they follow pattern and allow the decisions top elected state officials to stand. If only they (SCOTUS) would watch the YouTube videos of Billy and Pat, OMG, they are the Worlds cutest hubbies! Marriage equality would win out in SCOTUS 6-3.

    Posted by: Tony | Aug 16, 2014 8:18:31 PM


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