partlycloudy
Wednesday September 2nd, 2015 5:50PM

Utah to appeal gay marriage ruling to high court

By The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah is going directly to the nation's highest court to challenge a federal appeals court ruling that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, the state attorney general's office announced Wednesday.<br /> <br /> The state opted to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court rather than request a review from the entire 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. That option is now off the table, no matter what the high court decides.<br /> <br /> Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes' office said in a statement the appeal will be filed in the coming weeks, to get "clarity and resolution" from the highest court. "Attorney General Reyes has a sworn duty to defend the laws of our state," the statement said.<br /> <br /> The Supreme Court is under no obligation to hear the appeal of the June 25 ruling by a three-judge 10th Circuit panel, said William Eskridge, a Yale University law professor. There also is no deadline to make a decision, he said.<br /> <br /> The panel's June 25 ruling found states cannot deprive people of the fundamental right to marry simply because they choose partners of the same sex.<br /> <br /> The 2-1 decision marked the first time a federal appeals court weighed in on the matter. It became law in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.<br /> <br /> However, the panel immediately put the ruling on hold pending an appeal.<br /> <br /> The Utah case is certain to pique the Supreme Court's interest, but the justices usually look for cases that involve split rulings from federal appeals courts, said Douglas NeJaime, a University of California-Irvine law professor. The court may wait and take up the matter after one or more of the five other appeals courts with pending gay marriage cases has ruled.<br /> <br /> The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments about Virginia's ban in early May, and a ruling is expected soon. Arguments are scheduled for August and September in two different courts for cases out of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada and Idaho.<br /> <br /> Eskridge doesn't expect a quick decision from the high court.<br /> <br /> "Why make a decision on the Utah case until they see what the other circuits are going to do?" Eskridge said.<br /> <br /> The ruling by the 10th Circuit panel upheld a lower court's decision that overturned Utah's gay marriage ban, which voters approved in 2004. More than 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah wed after the ban was struck down and before the Supreme Court issued a stay.<br /> <br /> The panel considered a similar challenge to Oklahoma's gay marriage ban, but it has not ruled in that case.<br /> <br /> Utah Gov. Gary Herbert hoped the state would appeal to the Supreme Court, his office said recently. The governor said the state already anticipated and budgeted for a need to defend the law before the highest court.<br /> <br /> Utah has spent about $300,000 paying three outside attorneys to defend its same-sex marriage ban. It would cost another $300,000 to have the trio defend the case at the Supreme Court, the state estimates.<br /> <br /> Plaintiff Moudi Sbeity called the decision to take the case to the high court "wonderful news." He and his partner, Derek Kitchen, are one of three gay and lesbian couples who sued Utah over its gay marriage ban.<br /> <br /> "We are one step closer toward having our families recognized in our home state," Sbeity said. "It's definitely a case our Supreme Court needs to hear. The faster we can move on this, the better for all of us."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 8 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 8 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 8 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 8 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 8 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 8 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 8 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 8 months ago )
Politics
The Latest: Kentucky clerk says she is unable to obey judge's order to issue marriage licenses
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The latest on a county clerk in Kentucky who has repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses (all times local):4:54 p.m.A Kentucky county clerk says she is unable to obey a fed...
5:03PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Watchdog: 900,000 veterans have pending health care requests; many of those may be deceased
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 900,000 military veterans have officially pending applications for health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the department's inspector general said Wednesday, but...
4:59PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Obama seals legacy-defining Iran deal as Senate Dems gather 34 votes to stymie GOP resolution
WASHINGTON (AP) — Overcoming ferocious opposition, President Barack Obama secured a legacy-defining foreign policy victory Wednesday as Senate Democrats clinched the necessary votes to ensure the Iran...
4:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
US stocks rebound a day after plunging; Dow up 293 at close
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing broadly higher as the market bounces back from a plunge the day before.
4:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
Evacuations orders lifted around Oregon wildfire that has destroyed 43 homes
JOHN DAY, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters battling a destructive wildfire near John Day are allowing people who have been evacuated for weeks to return to their homes.The last evacuation alerts were lifted W...
3:29PM ( 2 hours ago )