Saying that the state didn’t make their case that they are likely to prevail in an appeal of District Judge Robert Shelby’s decision that Utah’s Amendment 3 and other laws that restrict marriage to male-female couples, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied, for a third time, the state’s motion for an emergency stay of the ruling.
“A stay pending appeal is governed by the following factors: (1) the likelihood of success on appeal; (2) the threat of irreparable harm if the stay is not granted; (3) the absence of harm to opposing parties if the stay is granted; and (4) any risk of harm to the public interest,” the judges wrote in a 3-paragraph ruling.
“The first two factors are the most critical, and they require more than a mere possibility of success and irreparable harm, respectively,” the ruling continued. “Having considered the district court’s decision and the parties’ arguments concerning the stay factors, we conclude that a stay is not warranted.”
Judges Jerome Holmes and Robert E. Bacharach did direct expedited consideration of the appeal.
The state has announced that it will appeal the circuit court’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will go to U.S. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a female, Hispanic Obama appointee. She could rule unilaterally or refer the issue to the entire court.
The appeal of Shelby’s ruling will be heard by a three-judge panel and will likely take a year, according to legal experts.