Prop 8 Supporters' Emergency Request to Halt Marriages Denied
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy today denied an emergency application filed by Proposition 8 sponsors asking the court to halt same-sex weddings until the justices issue a final disposition on their dismissal of a case asking them to to overturn a lower-court decision striking down the California marriage law.
That decision paved the way for same-sex marriages, which had been legal in the state before the passage of Prop 8, to resume. A federal court gave the go-ahead Friday evening, and gay couples immediately began tying the knot.
Supporters of Proposition 8, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, had said they believed that the 9th Circuit Court acted prematurely in allowing marriages to resume before the Supreme Court had issued its final judgment, which usually comes within 25 days of a ruling.
They filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court Saturday, asking the court to stop the 9th Circuit's "premature move" allowing same sex marriages to go forward.
Lawyers for Protectmarriage dot.com said the marriage of same-sex couples should not have been allowed to resume because the Supreme Court had yet to issue its "final disposition" in the case, which under court rules occurs within 25 days of the judgment.
The Supreme Court allows the 25 days to give the losing party time to ask for reconsideration. Such requests are, however, rarely granted.
The emergency application went to Kennedy, who has jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit. He had the authority to act on it alone, or refer the matter to the full court.