AG Herring Asks for Supreme Court Review of Virginia’s Same-sex Marriage Decision
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced he will ask the US Supreme Court to examine Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage and the recent court case which struck it down.
The AG’s office request for a writ of certiorari from the highest court in the land is thought to be the first of its kind, and follows Utah’s similar request earlier today.
“Throughout this case, I have fought for the fundamental rights of Virginians and the quickest possible resolution,” said Attorney General Herring in a statement released along with the announcement. “I believe the district and appeals courts ruled correctly in striking down Virginia’s discriminatory marriage ban, but it has long been clear that the Supreme Court will likely have the final word. I want that decision to come as soon as possible and I want the voices of Virginians to be heard. This case has moved forward at an incredibly swift pace, and I look forward to a final resolution that affirms the fundamental right of all Virginians to marry.”
A stay in the Fourth Circuit’s decision was requested last week by a county clerk from Northern Virginia, and the motion from the commonwealth today echoes Herring’s original statements affirming a stay request. Below is text from the motion:
“This case has moved with unusual speed. It was argued in the district court in February and in this Court in May, and it is now ready for review by the Supreme Court. Speed is warranted, for it is unjust for Virginia’s same-sex couples to have to wait even a little while longer for the promise of the Fourteenth Amendment to be fulfilled. As this Court observed, across the Commonwealth, more than 2,500 same-sex couples are raising more than 4,000 children. They are our fellow Virginians. And the Attorney General is committed to ensuring that the government stops treating them as second-class citizens.
“It is with great reluctance, therefore, that the Attorney General agrees that a stay is warranted. The unintended consequences that will befall the Commonwealth and its people if the injunction takes effect prematurely, and the clear signal sent by [the Supreme Court] in Evans and Kitchen II, show the necessity of staying the mandate until the Supreme Court can conclusively resolve what may well be the most important civil rights issue of our time.
“We are nearly there.”
“The Attorney General of Virginia… failed to defend the Constitution of Virginia… when a legal challenge was undertaken to redefine marriage in federal courts”January 17, 2017
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