The Arkansas Supreme Court has denied the state of Arkansas' emergency request for a stay of Judge Piazza's marriage equality ruling in that state.
The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected the state attorney general’s request for a stay of a judge’s ruling that overturned Arkansas’ constitutional ban on gay marriage.However, from Towleroad:
The high court on Wednesday turned down the request from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that would have halted the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza had ruled last week that a voter-approved gay marriage ban was unconstitutional, but didn’t issue a stay. A few counties began issuing marriage licenses, and by midweek about 450 couples had gotten them.
The vast majority of the state’s counties refused to grant licenses, saying the Supreme Court needed to weigh in. McDaniel said a stay was necessary because clerks did not know whether they were obligated to issue licenses.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today dismissed the appeal of Judge Chris Piazza's ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban because it wasn't a final ruling. It also denied a request for an emergency stay of the ruling, the Arkansas Times reports:
Arkansas_supremeThe court, however, seems to have returned the state to its old status quo — impossible for same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses — because it notes that Piazza's ruling didn't mention another statute that prohibits clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Action will now shift to Piazza's court to pursue final orders, injunctive relief and a cleanup on the omitted statute.
Said Jack Wagoner, attorney for the plaintiffs:
We'll fix that tomorrow and be back here again.... How can order find something unconstitutional but not affect a statute that would require the clerks to do something unconstitutional?
Justices Donald Corbin and Paul Danielson issued a separate concurrence that said the simply would have dismissed the appeal for lack of a final order and rejected the emergency stay request because the case is still before the trial court.
4:15 PM PT: So, it looks like the focus is back on Judge Piazza to finalize the ruling and the order, and to also handle the issue with the county clerks.