Motion To Stay Prop 8 Ruling Denied — But Judge Delays Lifting Stay

A federal judge in California today denied a motion to stay his ruling on Proposition 8, saying he will lift the temporary stay Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Judge Vaughn Walker ruled last week that Prop 8, which defined marriage in California as heterosexual, is unconstitutional. He issued a temporary stay — meaning same-sex couples can’t get married yet — and today ruled that his stay will continue until next Wednesday.That will give the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court which will hear the appeal of Prop 8 supporters, time to decide whether to issue its own stay.

“Any stay would serve only to delay plaintiffs access to the remedy to which they have shown they are entitled,” Walker said.

As in his original ruling, Walker wrote that proponents of Prop 8 just didn’t provide enough evidence for their position.

“Because proponents fail to satisfy any of the factors necessary to warrant a stay, the court
denies a stay except for a limited time solely in order to permit the court of appeals to consider the issue in an orderly manner,” Walker wrote in his ruling.

Walker pointed out that proponents of Prop 8 could not prove that they would suffer any harm if the stay is lifted. They argued that the state would be harmed but “proponents, of course, are not the state,” Walker said.

“Proponents also point to harm resulting from ‘a cloud of uncertainty’ surrounding the validity of marriages performed after judgment is entered but before proponents’ appeal is resolved. Proponents have not, however, alleged that any of them seek to wed a same-sex spouse,” he wrote.

The proponents also, he said, failed to prove that they were likely to succeed in their appeal. They might not even have standing to appeal, he argued, unless the original defendant — the state of California — agrees to appeal. And both the governor and the attorney general support same-sex marriage.

Here’s the ruling:

Prop 8: Final Stay Order