Gay Marriage

Justice Kennedy Temporarily Blocks Pro-Gay Marriage Ruling in Idaho

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Credit: C-SPAN

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit invalidated gay marriage bans in the states of Idaho and Nevada. Idaho then filed an emergency plea to the Supreme Court, asking for that ruling to be put on hold while the state files an appeal. Today Justice Anthony Kennedy ordered that the 9th Circuit's ruling be stayed "pending further order of the undersigned [Kennedy] or of the Court." He also ordered a response to the state's plea from the lawyers for the victorious same-sex couples.

What does this mean? Kennedy's actions may signal the Court's interest in eventually hearing this case on appeal. Although the Court did just turn down seven gay marriage petitions originating from five other states, the 9th Circuit's ruling is notable for subjecting the Idaho and Nevada gay marriage bans to "heightened scrutiny," one of the more aggressive forms of judicial review. Other federal appellate courts, by contrast, have adopted what's called rational-basis review, which is the most deferential towards state officials. This methodological split among the federal circuits could prompt the Supreme Court to weigh in on the merits of a gay marriage ban.

NEXT: I think I accidentally started an urban legend. My bad.

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  1. The level of scrutiny applied seems like an odd hill to die on, when they had no problem with rulings that had the state laws/amendments failing even the most relaxed scrutiny.

  2. “Other federal appellate courts, by contrast, have adopted what’s called rational-basis review, which is the most deferential towards state officials.”

    They showed the same deference toward the states that that sports guy showed to his wife in the elevator.

  3. Wouldn’t read too much into it; with a lot of 9-0 rulings favoring free speech lately, It’s hard for me to imagine a sudden 5-4 ruling -against- gay marriage. Probably more just a move to resolve the issue so everyone will leave them the fuck alone about it.

  4. In other words, Kennedy is ensuring that the 9th circuit followed the law and is not acting as an activist court. it gives one hope that the judicial system is still working as intended instead of being used by both sides of the fence to push political agendas the government has no business being addressing.

    1. Calm down Minnie May.

  5. It’d be nice if some court, somewhere, ever applied heightened scrutiny toward economic legislation. But nope — almost always Rational Basis Test, or the even worse Arbitrary and Capricious standard.

    Thanks, New Deal Courts, for handing us this nonsense.

    1. ^This^

      Even in cases where rational basis is meaningless or leads to irrational outcome;

      U.S. v. Windsor – decides that gay ‘married’ couples should be taxed at the same (higher) rate as heterosexual married couples by returning taxes withheld (at a lower rate, under DOMA) from the death of a couple married in Canada.

      Because all love is the same.

  6. Sooooooooo, cock block.

  7. Can 3 males marry one another?

    Can a mother marry her daughter?

    Can a father marry his two sons?

    Can 5 gender-neutral, asexual transsexuals marry?

    If not, why not?

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