December 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Florida seeks hold on same-sex marriages from Supreme Court

Pam Bondi, Florida, gay news, Washington Blade

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has a filed a stay request in the Florida marriage case. (Photo public domain)

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to place a hold on same-sex marriages in her state in the aftermath of a recent federal appeals court decision ordering them to begin next month.

In an 18-page filing, Bondi and other states attorneys lay out their arguments for why the Supreme Court should issue a stay on a federal district court ruling against the ban on same-sex marriage in her state for the duration of appeal.

“It is true that this Court recently denied certiorari in cases invalidating traditional marriage laws,” Bondi writes. “But those denials came before the Sixth Circuit established the current circuit split, which enhanced the need for a decision from this Court. Because this Court is unlikely to allow the circuit split to continue, it is likely that the Court will grant certiorari in the Sixth Circuit cases.”

The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Florida, this month refused an earlier stay request from Bondi on the district court ruling, saying same-sex marriage can begin in the state “at the end of the day” on Jan. 5.

But Bondi, a Republican who’s been defending the ban in court, writes the language in the Eleventh Circuit order is the reason why justices should issue a stay before it takes effect.

“The Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision denying a longer stay has created statewide confusion, with news reports now suggesting that the end of the stay will lead to statewide issuance of same-sex marriage licenses, even though only one of Florida’s 67 clerks of court is a party below,” Bondi writes. “Some clerks who are not parties to this litigation have announced that, absent a stay, they will begin issuing licenses on January 6.”

The filing was submitted to U.S. Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who’s responsible for stay requests in the Eleventh Circuit. He can decide the matter himself or refer the filing to the entire court.

It remains to be seen what action Thomas or the court will take on the request. After its refusal to review federal appeals court decisions in favor of same-sex marriage in October, the court denied stay requests on subsequent rulings in favor of marriage equality in Alaska, Idaho, Kansas and South Carolina.

But the court denied stays in Kansas and Idaho only after the justices to which the requests were submitted issued temporary holds. Additionally, unlike the stay requests previously denied by the Supreme Court, the Florida filing comes from a jurisdiction where no federal appeals court has yet to make a decision on the merits of state bans on same-sex marriage.

Thomas has expressed discontent with the way the court has handled the marriage issue, saying “for reasons that escape me” the court hasn’t taken up review of federal appeals court decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage or granted stay requests in the aftermath of those rulings.

UPDATE: Late Tuesday, Thomas called for a response to be filed regarding the stay request by Thursday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. EST.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

10 Comments
  • It is impossible to apply the Constitution to Same Sex Marriage, as the Judges are doing, and ruling for it. It is impossible for the Constitution to protect more than an Individual. It is impossible for it to protect multiple Persons vying for an event, designed for only two opposite Genders, and to not comply to the requirements. Opposite Genders are reasonable, since, there are only two Genders, and one of each is perfect equality. Each Gender, then has an equal Right to the event of Marriage, which is true equality. The Constitution cannot say that each Individual Gender is denied that Right to apply for that event. Any Male that applies for that Male position will not be denied. The Constitution cannot protect two Males applying for the one Male position. Only one Male will obtain that position, not two Males. (likewise for the Female)
    Judges are wrong, on many counts. The Constitution can only protect the Individual. The Constitution cannot protect Orientations, and cannot redefine or redesign, what is fundamentally established by an entity, especially by State or Govt. In this case, (SSM) the Constitution can only protect the Individual Male's Right, to be treated equally as all the other Males. This is equality under the Law, nothing else. To consider and compare, multiple Genders, multiple couples, multiple Orientations, multiple characteristics, is beyond the reach of the constitution, beyond its design. It is impossible for any Judge to consider it that way.
    Of course, the Homosexual community will not accept it, perhaps denying that the Constitution, protects Individually. That the Constitution can "give" them Rights, not spelled out in it. But can they prove, that it can do it for them? NO. They will rely on the Judges interpretation of the wordings, in the Constitution, but it is only their Individual interpretation, and that interpretation, defies reality and logic. The Constitution was not meant to deal with or into, established entities created by others, out there in Society. It was not meant to recognize Orientations and statuses of People. It would simply implode. SCOTUS of course, will make short work of it.

  • Really? is this truly what you believe? A question: are you an constitutional expert? I'm thinking not.

  • Myself? no, not an expert, but I was taught in school that the connstitution is supposed the protect the rights, and civil liberties for all U.S. folks.

  • Can The Blade find a current photo of Bondi that hasn't been airbrushed, and post that one?

  • It doesn't give them the express right to marriage but it does not expressly allow states to forbid it either. Unless someone is 240 years old, no one living today was there and cannot go beyond a literal reading of what they meant. So you cannot say what anyone MEANT!

  • Eddie Hamilton Then why do we need the Constitution at all? Why are the Judges citing the Constitution? You don't seem to believe in the Constitution. Pity

  • So it is impossible for the Constitution to protect more than an individual, but at the same time, it protects genders rather than individuals? Someone's argument defies reality and logic. Where did you say you'd studied Constitutional law again?

  • Kenny Claing How do you know what I believe in or not? I am just stating a fact. The fact that marriage is not even IN the Constitution. The real pity is being judgmental when it doesn't suit your narrative. Also, Since when was the Constitution gender specific?

  • Dave Edmondson Of course you don't know what Individual Genders mean? The Constitution starts out with "we the People" Do you know of any other Gender in our Society's People, besides Male and Female?

  • Eddie Hamilton You stated what you believed. 240 yrs. is too old.

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