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9th Circuit Gay Marriage Cases Wrapping Up

Trickle-down equality.

After Windsor. After Latta v. Otter. After all of the high-profile appellate cases comes controlling precedent and typing up loose ends.

The Montana case seems like it's headed for summary judgment. A few motions for en banc rehearing by the Ninth Circuit are pending, but likely won't be granted. And a few other states have thrown in the towel, making gay marriage legal in just a few more jurisdictions.

Here's the roundup:

Montana Plaintiffs: End It Already

The Montana case is a foregone conclusion, barring some miracle en banc review by the Ninth Circuit in one of the other cases or a Supreme Court cert. grant and ruling against gay marriage (equally unlikely). But the plaintiffs don't want to wait any longer to exercise their fundamental rights to marry. Here's how they close their latest brief, requesting summary judgment as soon as possible:

The State raises no issues of material fact, offers no real opposition to summary judgment, concedes Latta is binding, does not request a stay, and offers no reason for this Court to delay resolution of Plaintiffs' Motion. The Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court have denied requests to stay orders and judgments in comparable cases. Plaintiffs are therefore entitled to marry, or to have their out-of-state marriages recognized. In these circumstances, Plaintiffs respectfully submit that there is no need for a hearing to resolve this Motion and respectfully request that the Court grant summary judgment in their favor at the Court's earliest convenience.

En Banc Long Shots

Alaska, Nevada, and Idaho all have en banc petitions pending, none of which seem likely to be granted. The brief in the Montana case also notes that Alaska's petition to the Supreme Court for a stay was denied, and that a ruling in Arizona that enjoined enforcement of that state's ban has not been appealed.

The federal government also announced late last month that it would recognize same-sex marriages out of Arizona, Idaho, and Alaska, reports Reuters.

In short: Arizona has gay marriage, as will Alaska, Nevada, and Idaho once their en banc petitions are denied. Montana is still at the district court level but is pretty much a foregone conclusion as well.

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