What a week! And we were worried that we'd be topic dry once the Supreme Court's summer session hit.
As is our usual Friday bit, we're going to do a roundup of Supreme Court-related headlines. This time, Utah is seeking a stay on "interim" marriages (same-sex couples married before the Supreme Court's grant of a stay), the Tenth Circuit rules against Oklahoma's ban, and Florida gets its first pro-gay marriage opinion.
And then there's California: foie gras and the death penalty.
Utah's 'Interim' Marriage Problem
You're probably familiar with what happened in Utah by now: a district court ruled against the state's ban on gay marriages and refused to enter a stay pending appeal. The Tenth Circuit also refused to enter a stay. After a few days and 1,300 or so marriages, the Supreme Court stepped in and granted Utah's wish.
About those 1,300: are they legitimate? These "interim" marriages, as Utah likes to call them, will make the couples eligible for state benefits on Monday if a court doesn't issue a stay soon, reports the Los Angeles Times. And the Tenth Circuit turned down Utah's request earlier today. The clock is ticking, SCOTUS.
Note that this is separate from Utah's merits appeal. A cert. petition in that case is expected soon.
Oklahoma Joins the Party
Speaking of the Tenth Circuit, the same panel just ruled against Oklahoma's ban, and Judge Michael Kelly is still dissenting.
We have more on the decision on our Tenth Circuit blog.
Florida Does Too
Yesterday was a day of celebration for same-sex marriage advocates in Florida. A judge in Monroe County (the Florid Keys) ruled against that state's ban on gay marriage. Though his opinion only carries weight in that county, parallel challenges are pending in Miami Dade county and federal courts.
Again, we have more coverage on our Eleventh Circuit blog.
Foie Gras and Death Penalty: Two Cases Destined for Certiorari?
Here's an interesting batch of cases that could appear on the Supreme Court's docket in the near future.
California banned foie gras a couple of years ago. Since then, we've been following the legal challenges on our Ninth Circuit blog. Well, the case is finally headed for the cert. pool, and it's gotten a lot of unexpected help: thirteen states that produce their own meat/wheat/agricultural goods are urging the Supreme Court to take the case.
Like the California egg dispute, the rest of the states don't want California setting nationwide agricultural policies through their own bans. It's a clear case for the dormant Interstate Commerce Clause. Justice Clarence Thomas? This is your day, your honor.
And then there's the death penalty ruling: a district court found California's pathetic, underfunded, arbitrary, and dysfunctional system unconstitutional. Obviously, it'll have to roll through the Ninth Circuit and the en banc rounds first, but a cert. petition is damn near guaranteed at some point.