The Bostic same-sex marriage decision was huge, and not just for Virginians. All across the Fourth Circuit, cases were on hold pending the resolution of that case. And now, with a decision in, states are reacting differently, with some promising to fight on and others declining to fight what they see as a losing battle.
And even in Virginia itself, the decision isn't completely final. Local county clerks, who are defending the state's ban, are pressing forward with their defense of the ban, adding another gay marriage case to the U.S. Supreme Court's cert. pool.
Va.: Stay, SCOTUS Cert. Sought
Local county clerks in Virginia, who defended the ban in the Fourth Circuit, sought a stay late last week, reports The Associated Press. They plan on appealing the case to the Supreme Court, rather than seeking an en banc rehearing.
The plaintiffs have also taken action, filing papers in the Fourth Circuit asking the court not to stay its holding pending appeal.
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N.C.: Defense of Ban Dropped
North Carolina's Attorney General Roy Cooper told reporters last Monday he would concede what was surely a losing battle.
"Simply put, it's time to stop making arguments we will lose and instead move forward, knowing that the ultimate resolution will likely come from the U.S. Supreme Court," Cooper said at a press conference, according to Raleigh's WRAL-TV.
S.C.: Defense Continues
South Carolina officials, echoing the sentiment of Cooper, agreed that this was an issue for the Supreme Court, but announced in a statement that they were reviewing the decision and would continue to defend their state's ban, reports the Charleston City Paper.
"Ultimately, this will be a decision for the U.S. Supreme Court," the statement read. "People should not rush to act or react until that time, when a decision is made by the highest court in the land."
W. Va.: TBD
Back in June, much like federal judges in the other Fourth Circuit states, a local judge put a challenge to West Virginia's gay marriage ban on hold pending Bostic. As Bostic is binding, once that decision goes final, we'd expect the West Virginia case to be a foregone conclusion.
State officials have not said whether they plan on continuing with their defense of the ban, so in the absence of comment, its safe to assume they will.
Md.: Already Legal and Equal
- Pamela Harris Confirmed; Republican Senator Exasperated (FindLaw's U.S. Fourth Circuit Blog)
- Rule Change; Cert. Sought for NC Plates, Denied in Family Dollar (FindLaw's U.S. Fourth Circuit Blog)
- 4th Circuit Says Nah, D.C. Circuit. ACA Subsidies For All! (FindLaw's U.S. Fourth Circuit Blog)