I go out for an hour or so and when I get back to my computer, several websites, including JoeMyGod and Equality on Trial break the news that the Utah Attorney General has petitioned Justice Sotomayor for a stay of Judge Shelby's ruling that overturned Utah Amendment 3 and has been allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry since shortly before Christmas.
If you either a) want a laugh or b) have a strong stomach, you can read the filing for yourself at the second link. It's replete with such winning phrases as
As a result of the district court's injunction, numerous same-sex marriages are occurring every day in Utah. And each one is an affront not only to the interests of the state in being able to define marriage through ordinary democratic channels...but also to this Court's unique role as final arbiter of the profoundly important constitutional question that it so carefully preserved in Windsor.In their ineffable wisdom, the state has chosen as their outside counsel none other than the esteemed Monte Neil Stewart, who's been in the business of unsuccessfully fighting marriage equality since the 1990's.
The state's outside counsel's dubious effort throws everything but the kitchen sink (sorry about the unintended pun here; the case is officially designated Kitchen vs Herbert) at poor Justice Sotomayor who probably wants nothing more than to spend New Year's Eve and New Year's Day resting from her duties. They've got it all, from Baker vs Nelson to citations from David Blankenhorn, once an opponent of marriage equality but now a supporter, to the oft-discredited Regnerus study.
In a certain sense I wish them luck. In another sense I hope they realize before they've gone and spent all of the $2 million that the state's new Attorney General has requested and received, that they're throwing good money after bad. In still another sense I hope they completely humiliate themselves.
UPDATE: Again from Equality on Trial, it appears Justice Sotomayor has requested a reply from the plaintiffs in the case, to be delivered by noon EST. On FRIDAY. One would think that if this were a real emergency, or if Justice Sotomayor had any inkling that there was merit to the state's request, she would have acted more swiftly and/or provided a shorter window for the the plaintiffs' reply.