John M. Becker

Supreme Court Error Accidentally Halted Marriage in Nevada

Filed By John M. Becker | October 09, 2014 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Anthony Kennedy, epic fail, error, gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Supreme Court

oops-bubble.jpgFile this under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" (or alternatively, under "I Totally Called It")...

Same-sex marriages in Nevada were briefly halted yesterday because an order from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy contained an error, the AP reports:

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg confirmed this mix-up Thursday, saying Kennedy's order issued a day earlier was an error that the justice corrected with a second order several hours later.

By that time, however, Nevada officials had decided to hold off on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday until they could be certain the legal situation was settled.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco declared bans on same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada illegal on Tuesday. Idaho quickly asked the Supreme Court for a delay, but Nevada planned to allow same-sex weddings to proceed.

The trouble arose because Idaho's request to the court included a document from the appeals court that listed case numbers for both states. The Supreme Court received the request around 8:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday and Kennedy issued his order about 80 minutes later, 10 minutes before he and the other justices took the bench to hear arguments.

Kennedy's clarification, which came out yesterday afternoon and began with "upon further consideration...", lifted the stay as it applied to Nevada, but let it stand as it applies to Idaho.

That's a hell of an "oops!"


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