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Rule of law bypassed in Prop. 8 case

Supreme Court leaves in place premature 9th Circuit order against Prop. 8

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Sunday declined to vacate Friday’s premature order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in the lawsuit concerning California’s marriage amendment. The Proposition 8 legal team filed an emergency application Saturday that argued the 9th Circuit’s order prematurely lifted a stay on a district court order that had declared the amendment unconstitutional.

Kennedy, the associate justice who decides such motions pertaining to the 9th Circuit, declined the Proposition 8 legal team’s request even though court rules require the 9th Circuit to wait for a certified copy of the judgment from the Supreme Court before taking action. The high court has not yet issued its certified judgment.

“Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “The 9th Circuit has failed to abide by its own word that the stay would remain in place until final disposition by the Supreme Court. When courts act contrary to their own statements, the public’s confidence in the justice system is undermined.”

When the 9th Circuit issued the stay, it stated that “the stay shall continue until final disposition by the Supreme Court.” The 9th Circuit acknowledged Wednesday that disposition would not occur until at least 25 days from June 26, but it then lifted the stay on Friday without explanation.

“The more than 7 million Californians that voted to enact Proposition 8 deserve nothing short of the full respect and due process our judicial system provides,” Nimocks said.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed the emergency application together with Andrew P. Pugno, general counsel for, the banner organization for the official proponents and campaign committee of Proposition 8. The U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case concerning Proposition 8, on Wednesday.

  • Pronunciation guide: Nimocks (NIM’-ucks)


Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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