The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday lifted the stay that blocked Idaho same-sex marriages effective Wednesday morning.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden dropped his opposition to the stay in the federal court Monday morning, though Gov. Butch Otter did not. Wasden wrote that the state of Idaho and fellow defendants Ada County Clerk Christopher Rich “do not oppose” the plaintiffs’ motion to lift the stay. He wrote in his 5-page filing that “given the actions taken by the Supreme Court … they cannot satisfy the stringent standards governing issuance of stays.” He said it was still possible the state would appeal the ruling.
The plaintiffs’ attorney Deborah Ferguson hadn’t yet filed a motion with the court asking for the stay to be lifted.
“I guess they kind of knew what we were going to say,” Ferguson said.
The governor, however, filed a response drafted by private attorney Gene Schaerr, who represented Utah in its failed appeal of federal rulings on same-sex marriage here. Schaerr wrote that the state has more avenues to appeal the decision.
“Granting that motion would also improperly treat the sovereign State of Idaho as an ordinary litigant, entitled to no more respect than a fly-by-night payday loan business or massage parlor,” Schaerr wrote. He also wrote that people will not turn out to vote next month if the Supreme Court does not maintain the stay.
“If laws passed by state legislatures can be overturned without the state having an opportunity for full appellate review before the law loses its force, why should ordinary citizens bother to vote for state officer-holders?” he asks.