Supreme Court Clears Way for Same-Sex Marriages in Idaho

   < < Go Back
from The Wall Street Journal,

Justices Lift Temporary Hold on Lower-Court Ruling That Struck Down Restrictions.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for same-sex marriage to begin in Idaho, lifting a temporary hold on a lower court opinion that declared the state’s restrictions unconstitutional.

Earlier this week, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco struck down laws in Idaho and Nevada that barred same-sex marriage. Nevada declined to appeal, but Idaho asked Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who oversees the Ninth Circuit, to block the ruling while the state tried to get it overturned.

Justice Kennedy temporarily stayed the Idaho ruling while considering legal arguments filed by both the state and same-sex couples seeking to marry. Friday’s two-sentence order noted that Justice Kennedy referred the matter to the full Supreme Court, which declined to block the Ninth Circuit ruling from taking effect.

The action was expected, following the justices’ Monday refusal to hear appeals from five states in other judicial circuits, a move that expanded same-sex marriages to a wider swath of the country.

This week’s legal actions effectively expand to 35 the number of states where same-sex unions must be recognized. Federal appeals courts in Atlanta, Cincinnati and New Orleans currently are weighing the constitutionality of marriage restrictions in their judicial circuits.

Idaho could still ask the Supreme Court, or a larger panel of Ninth Circuit judges, to reconsider the appeals court’s decision.

More From The Wall Street Journal (subscription required):