Saturday, June 14, 2014

Order Stayed By Court After Enjoining Wisconsin's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

As previously reported, on June 6 a Wisconsin federal district court declared Wisconsin's constitutional and statutory provisions barring same-sex marriage unconstitutional and instructed the parties to submit proposed language for an injunction. Now in Wolf v. Walker, (WD WI, June 13, 2014), the court issued a carefully worded injunction against the governor, state registrar and three county clerks. However the court also stayed the injunction, as well as its earlier declaratory judgment, until the conclusion of any appeals or after the expiration of the deadline for filing appeals.  Judge Crabb wrote in part:
If I were considering these factors as a matter of a first impression, I would be inclined to agree with plaintiffs that defendants have not shown that they are entitled to a stay. However, I cannot ignore the Supreme Court’s order in Herbert v. Kitchen, 134 S. Ct. 893 (2014), in which the Court stayed a district court’s order enjoining state officials in Utah from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage.....  [S]ince Herbert, every statewide order enjoining the enforcement of a ban on same-sex marriage has been stayed, either by the district court or the court of appeals, at least when the state requested a stay.....
It is true that the Supreme Court declined to issue a stay in a more recent case in which a district court in Oregon enjoined enforcement of that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. National Organization for Marriage v. Geiger .... (June 4, 2014). However, that order is not instructive because the district court’s injunction was not opposed by the state; rather, a nonparty had requested the stay. Thus, I do not interpret Geiger as undermining the Court’s order in Herbert.
Yesterday's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports on the decision.