The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals just announced that the Governor of Utah's emergency motion to stay the federal judge’s ruling that struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage has been denied.
From the formal decision.
This matter comes before the court on an “Emergency Motion for Temporary Stay.” The district court entered an order on December 20, 2013, in which it found Utah’s constitutional and statutory definition of marriage unconstitutional and -2-enjoined the state from enforcing Article 1,§ 29 of the Utah Constitution and Utah Code §§ 30 -1-2 and 30-1-4.1. The Defendants-Appellants ask this court to stay the district court’s orderRepublican Governor Gary Herbert's response to the federal ruling was predictable. Striking down Utah's ban on marriage equality took all observers completely by surprise. A pleasant surprise, if you aren't the governor of a State who didn't think they would have to deal with this issue anytime soon.
pending the district court’s ruling on a motion for stay pending appeal that is currently pending in that court.
Appellants ask this court to stay the district court’s order pending the district court’s ruling on a motion for stay pending appeal that is currently pending in that court. The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the local rules of this court provide and set out the requirements for a stay pending appeal. Fed. R. App. P. 8;10th Cir. R. 8.1. Defendants-Appellants acknowledge that they have not addressed, let alone satisfied, the factors that must be established to be entitled to a stay pending appeal. They state that they do not address the 10th Cir. R. 8.1 criteria because they do not seek a stay pending appeal, but rather a stay pending the district court’s decision on their stay motion. But the appellate and local rules contemplate only a motion for stay pending appeal, and the requirements are clear. Because the motion before us does not meet the requirements of the Federal or local appellate rules governing a request for a stay, we deny the motion. This denial is without prejudice should Defendants-Appellants file a motion for stay pending appeal that complies with Fed. R. App. P. 8 and 10th Cir. R. 8.1.
Yesterday afternoon's ruling from Judge Robert Shelby of the U.S. Federal Court has created a chaotic situation in our state that requires an expedited judicial resolution. Utahns deserve a fair and complete judicial process, and I strongly encourage Judge Shelby to grant the motion for stay until the appeal can be heard and Utah's constitutional defense of traditional marriage restored.This is most excellent news for the people of Utah who care about equality and treating all her citizens with the dignity and respect they deserve. For now, marriages will continue. With every legal wedding, it makes it that much more difficult to undo by the courts. Our own California Proposition 8 battle showed this to be true. The 18,000 couples who had already been wed in California before our rights were stripped of us certainly weighed heavily on the Supreme Court Justices minds when Prop 8 and DOMA were struck down. Congratulations again, Utah.
Equality, coming to a State near you.