Main | Tuesday, November 18, 2014

FLORIDA: Bondi Asks Eleventh Circuit To Extend Marriage Stay During Appeal

The stay on the ruling that overturned Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is due to expire on January 5th.  Late Friday night, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed that ruling to the Eleventh Circuit in the first marriage case to reach that court. Today Bondi filed an additional motion, asking the Eleventh Circuit to extend the lower court's stay while it considers her appeal.

The ACLU reacts via press release:
“As if it wasn’t clear already, Attorney General Bondi and Governor Scott are putting up every possible legal obstacle they can think of to try to postpone the inevitable: loving couples being able to have the commitments they’ve made to one another respected by the state they call home. The State has plenty of time to prepare for marriages to begin in January, as Judge Hinkle’s latest order required, and every day that our clients go without the protections and responsibilities of marriage, they are being harmed. We are preparing to file a response soon, explaining why this motion should be denied.”
From today's motion:
The district court found that Florida’s laws violate the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights—the central issue on appeal. It is true that any denial of a constitutional right is a real injury, but that also was true when the district court decided, on balance in this unique case, to stay the injunctions in the first place. There is no need for immediate relief now that alters that balance of equities away from entering the stay and toward lifting the stay. The plaintiffs are no differently situated than those located in the four States of the Sixth Circuit, the three States of the Fifth Circuit, or the other two States in this Circuit. The laws in those States, like those in Florida, limit the definition of marriage to the legal union of one man and one woman. In the Fifth and Sixth Circuits, those laws remain in force while federal appellate review continues. So it should be here. In fact, there is no more urgency for any of the plaintiffs now than existed when the district court entered the stay in August, or than when the plaintiffs filed suit earlier this year. For the reasons the district court originally recognized, there is a substantial public interest in a stay. The Enjoined Officials respectfully request that this Court extend the district court’s stay until these consolidated appeals are complete. Because the existing stay is set to expire on January 5, 2015, the Enjoined Officials also respectfully request expedited treatment of this Motion.
Read the full motion.

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