9th Circuit Says No to Rehearing, High Court May Weigh In Next Week


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit closed the door on a rehearing of its landmark decision ruling Idaho's ban of same-sex marriage unconstitutional and opening the door for historic same-sex marriages at county courthouses and city halls across the Gem State.

In October 2014, 9th Circuit judges ruled that Idaho's same-sex marriage ban was drawn on "archaic and stereotypical notions about the purportedly distinctive roles and abilities of men and women."

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden had asked the 9th Circuit for a so-called "en banc" review by a larger group of judges but on Jan. 9, the court announced that the majority of its judges voted not to hold the rehearing.

And now, all eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court which may still weigh in on the matter. The high court may still announce its intention to take up the matter when it issues new orders on Monday, Jan. 12 or Friday, Jan. 16 following a closed-door conference where the justices will have one more opportunity to discuss several cases involving state bans of same-sex marriage.

Earlier this month, Otter announced that he had formally appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Latta v. Otter, the initial lawsuit which led to the recognition of same-sex marriage in Idaho.

Same-sex couples may now marry legally in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

“The overwhelming tidal wave of court rulings over the last year has put America on the cusp of nationwide marriage equality,” said Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow in a statement last week.