Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hurry Up... & Wait.

We started the morning thinking it was about to happen. That was after we spent much of yesterday thinking we had to wait a little longer. But then, we were thrown another delay. And suddenly, we had to wait again.

But now, the wait may finally be coming to an end. Just hours after US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary stay on yesterday's Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruling bringing marriage equality to Nevada and Idaho, Justice Kennedy recalled his own stay.

So what now? In Justice Kennedy's revised order, a temporary stay has been issued for Idaho. There, Governor Butch Otter (R) & Attorney General Lawrence Wasden (R) are requesting an en banc (or full court) hearing in the Ninth. The temporary stay will last until Thursday, when both sides have a deadline to respond to Otter's request for an en banc hearing and an extended stay of the Ninth's panel ruling.

The full Ninth Circuit is also asking for responses from both sides in Nevada by 5:00 PM Thursday, as the usual (H8 filled) suspects have requested a stay for Nevada. However, neither Governor Brian Sandoval (R) nor Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) is appealing the case. And considering the precedent the Supreme Court set in Perry v. Brown (the California Prop 8 case), it doesn't seem likely the Court will even grant the usual suspects standing to further appeal Sevcik v. Sandoval.

So what now? Officially, Nevada is about to receive legal marriage equality. But technically, Washoe County, Clark County, and other county clerks are turning away couples seeking licenses until Nevada federal district Judge James Mahan and/or the full Ninth Circuit clarifies next legal steps.

Today has felt like an infuriating game of "hurry up & wait". We can only imagine how the couples seeking marriage licenses must feel right now. Stay tuned here at Nevada Progressive as we continue attempting to wrap our heads around the legal ping-pong game this Sevcik case is rapidly devolving into.

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