The attorney general of Alabama made a last-ditch effort on Tuesday to prevent same-sex marriages in the state by calling on U.S. Associate Justice Clarence Thomas to halt the weddings.
In a 12-page legal brief, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange writes a stay is warranted to stop gay nuptials from beginning in his state on Feb. 9 as a result of U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade’s rulings against the Yellowhammer State’s ban on same-sex marriage.
“If the stay is not extended, there will be unnecessary confusion and litigation until this Court issues its opinion in the same-sex marriage cases on certiorari review from the Sixth Circuit,” Strange writes. “This confusion, conflict, and additional [l]itigation will serve no purpose because, by the end of this term, the answers to the questions presented in this case will be clear and binding for all involved.”
Strange, a Republican, had previously sought a stay pending appeal with the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Alabama, but the court denied the request on Tuesday. On the same day, Strange took up the matter with Thomas in a brief before the Supreme Court.
Thomas, who has jurisdiction over stay requests in the Eleventh Circuit, can decide the matter himself, or refer the matter to the entire bench.
It’s hard to see how Thomas or the court would accede to the stay request. When Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi called on Thomas to block same-sex marriage from taking place in Florida, the justice referred the matter to the entire court, which denied the request. The Supreme Court has also refused stay decisions in favor of same-sex marriage in states like Kansas, South Carolina, Alaska and Idaho.