Idaho Judge Refuses to Stay Gay Marriage Ruling, Weddings Begin Friday.
Mark Joseph Stern, Slate: Idaho Judge Refuses to Stay Gay Marriage Ruling, Weddings Begin Friday.
Butch Otter is both the name of the Idaho governor and many lesbians’ spirit animal.
It’s quite clear that Dale’s ruling, as well as every other recent ruling on gay marriage, is directed at one man—Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. That’s to be expected, given that Kennedy will almost certainly cast the deciding vote when one of these cases reaches the high court. What’s startling is how boldly these judges have been engaging in what my Slate colleague Dahlia Lithwick calls “a game of chicken” with Kennedy. They know that the swing justice will have to weigh in eventually—and at this point, they’re tired of waiting. That’s the only explanation for why, even after Utah, federal judges continue to invalidate marriage bans without staying them for appeal. Every time a gay couple in a red state finds their marriage stuck in legal limbo, the pressure on the justices to resolve the issue grows more intense. At this point, that pressure is still bearable. But it’s clear to everyone where this whole thing is headed, and judges are doing their best to remind Justice Kennedy that there’s no reason to dawdle at this late date.