As reported by Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog, yesterday the state of Utah filed an Application (full text) seeking an immediate stay pending appeal of the Dec. 20 federal district court decision in Kitchen v. Herbert which barred Utah from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage. The district court and 10th Circuit have both denied stays. As required by Supreme Court rule, the stay application was filed with Justice Sotomayor, the Justice assigned to the 10th Circuit. Late yesterday afternoon, Justice Sotomayor asked for a response from respondents by noon on Friday. It appears that Utah's governor and attorney general have retained an outside law firm to handle the attempt to obtain Supreme Court review. A Boise, Idaho firm is listed as petitioners' counsel, with counsel of record being the firm's senior partner Monte Neil Stewart who was a law clerk for Chief Justice Warren Burger and is the founder of the Marriage Law Foundation.
Utah's application for a stay argues that it is likely that the district court will be reversed on appeal, and if that happens without a stay the state will be faced with the problem of whether and how to unwind the many marriages that will have occurred in the interim. AP reports on Utah's efforts.