The United States Supreme Court was asked by Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes to restore a state’s law banning gay marriage by an emergency stay of the lower court’s ruling that same-sex partners have a constitutional right to marry.
Justices are being asked to be expedient with assessing whether gays and lesbians should have the same rights as heterosexual couples under the Constitution. Utah’s request could become a high topic of interest nationwide setting the bar for future gay marriages in the United States.
Last year the court struck down in a five to four ruling that the federal Defense of Marriage Act which rules that legally married same-sex partners are entitled to equal benefits under the law. Furthermore, in a second five to four ruling followed procedural grounds to throw out an appeal encompassing California’s Proposition 8 — legally discarding California’s ban on gay marriage without issuing a new constitutional right nationwide for both gay and lesbian couples.
Within the court’s procedure, justices examination of the Utah’s emergency order will need to weigh whether the state will succeed on the merits of the case. The question remains if the U.S supreme court are prepared to dive in further than they did the previous year.
Providing that all five justices concur Utah will most likely succeed in proving the constitutionality of its law limiting marriage to unions involving man and woman — an order will most likely be issued upon lower court’s ruling on a hold giving the state time to pursue its appeal.
If the court turns down the attorney general’s request, the decision could imply that a majority of the justices are prepared to uphold same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.
One of President Obama’s appointed U.S District Judge Robert Shelby ruled in favor of gay marriage. December twentieth he struck down a provision of the state’s constitution that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Justice Shelby refused the state’s request to hold his decision, which created a mad rush to the alter for same-sex partners within the last two weeks.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver refused to stay Shelby’s ruling, this prompted Utah’s Attorney general Sean Reyes to file his emergency appeal with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the overseer of appeals from that region.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor will presumably ask for a response from the lawyers who challenge the state’s law and then defer the matter to the full court.