The US Supreme Court has issued a unanimous stay on the decision to allow gay marriage in Utah.
The Supremes have not waded in on the question of whether gay marriage is Constitutional, rather they’ve stayed the order from U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby that gave the go ahead to gay marriage in Utah.
No matter which side you’re on, this was a correct decision by the Supreme Court.
Judge Shelby, by refusing to issue his own stay in the matter until the case can be appealed to the 10th US Circuit Court, put himself in the position of creating all sorts of havoc, and effectively pressuring the 10th Circuit to uphold his decision.
The problem is that if the ruling is overturned by the 10th Circuit, or later by the Supreme Court, all those who took the judge’s ruling on good faith, applied for and were granted marriage licenses, and were married, are in for a rude awakening. Their nuptials will suddenly not be legal.
Judge Shelby effectively stuck his thumb in the eye of the 10th Circuit, and the whole judicial process, by refusing to stay his ruling. District Courts who grant controversial rulings such as this routinely stay their own rulings so the case can move through the judicial process in an orderly manner and not have the kind of negative impact this ruling could potentially have.
The Supreme Court was right in this case, and it’s good to see that the ruling was apparently unanimous. That should, hopefully, leave a mark on Judge Shelby he won’t soon be getting rid of.