Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dammit, Justice (Kennedy) Delayed Again.

Of course, it can't be easy. It can't be simple. It must be confusing.

When we woke up this morning, marriage equality was set to become the law of the land here in Nevada today. Because the State of Nevada already promised not to appeal the case, the legal fight was supposed to end today.

But then, this happened. And mass confusion on Twitter soon followed. Some legal experts seem to think US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's temporary stay in Idaho also applies to Nevada because both cases were consolidated by the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, but SCOTUSBlog's Lyle Denniston is reporting Justice Kennedy's stay only applies to Idaho (as that state is appealing The Ninth's ruling).

For now, it looks like Nevada officials are once again erring on the side of caution. Moments ago, the Clark County Clerk's Office recanted its proclamation from last night and will not issue marriage licenses today. And since the Washoe County Clerk's Office had already stated its plans to wait this out, that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon.

So what happened? Short answer: Idaho. Longer answer: Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) is appealing the ruling, and the state's lawyers requested a temporary stay from Justice Kennedy. So Kennedy granted the stay.

But because Idaho and Nevada cases are consolidated, we must wait even longer to find out where we actually stand. Will the Supremes "decouple" the cases? Will they decide to take up both cases? Or will both cases be subsequently dismissed (like all the other ones were on Monday)?

Stay tuned. This isn't over yet.

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