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UPDATED: Anti-gay group asks Supreme Court to halt California marriages

An anti-gay group has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court today to halt same-gender marriages in California, which resumed Friday afternoon after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay on a lower court ruling that said Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an anti-gay group that gets supports from the Religious Right and other right-wing organizations, told The Associated Press that it had submitted a petition to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the high court's handler of issues involving the Ninth Circuit.

The lawyers filed an emergency motion, claiming that the Ninth Circuit wrongly lifted the stay before the 25-day waiting period it initially said it would take to make a decision.

Austin Nimocks, senior counsel for Arizona-based ADF, said the group deserved the full amount of time to consider whether to appeal.

The highly respected SCOTUS Blog has more HERE, including the filing. Blogger Tom Goldstein writes:

Whether the emergency request to Justice Kennedy can succeed is unclear. But it is unlikely. As a formal matter, the Ninth Circuit did not put the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Proposition 8 case into effect prematurely. The Supreme Court held that the proponents of Proposition 8 could not file appeals in federal court. That ruling says nothing about imposing or lifting a stay on same-sex marriage. The court of appeals likely has the authority to act with respect to its own previously entered stay, which is a form of controlling its own docket. Although the court of appeals had previously stated that they stay would remain in effect until the Supreme Court’s ruling was final, it presumably can change its mind. ...

It is true that the Ninth Circuit’s decision to lift its own stay so quickly may not further endear the members of that court to the Justices of the Supreme Court. The Justices place great value on permitting ordinary legal processes to run their course. But it seems unlikely that the Supreme Court will see the situation as sufficiently urgent to require its intervention now. In perhaps a sign of that understanding, the firm of the proponents principal Supreme Court counsel — Cooper & Kirk — did not place its name on the emergency application.

So far, no response has come in from groups in favor of marriage equality.