Gay-marriage cases terminated in 8th, other federal circuit courts
Gay-marriage cases in several federal court pipelines are now suspended, pending the results of a Supreme Court ruling in June.
On Wednesday, the 8th Circuit court of appeals said it would defer arguments and a decision in four states until after the high court ruled on the landmark marriage case known as Obergefell v. Hodges.
The federal appeals court, based in St. Louis, Missouri, said it was suspending “any further consideration” of the marriage cases from South Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska for now.
The four states are appealing federal judges’ decisions to reverse their state man-woman marriage laws.
Oral arguments had been scheduled to begin on May 12 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Several parties involved in the cases said they were concerned with the court’s announcement.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement that the 8th Circuit “has the authority to rule regardless of what is occurring before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Josh Newville, a Minneapolis attorney who’s representing six same-sex couples from South Dakota, said he’s uncertain why the court waited to make the announcement until Wednesday, given that it knew oral arguments before the Supreme Court had been scheduled long ago.
“This process has been a painful one for my clients, and the Court’s action today adds to the roller-coaster they’ve been forced to endure,” he said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.
The 8th Circuit isn’t alone in holding off on marriage cases until the high court speaks: The 11th Circuit court of appeals stopped cases in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, while the 1st Circuit court of appeals has stayed a case from Puerto Rico.