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Governor Appeals to Supreme Court Over 9th Circuit Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

The petition ripped the 9th Circuit's ruling as "judicial policy-making masquerading as law."


Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has made an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States to take up Latta v. Otter—the lawsuit that led to the recognition of same-sex marriages in Idaho in 2014.

The petition for a writ of certiorari, titled C.L. "Butch" Otter, et al v. Susan Latta, et al, argues that Idaho's defense of its 2006 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages should take precedence over other, similar legal cases in which such bans have been overturned.

According to the brief, the Supreme Court should take up Otter v. Latta because it involves the licensing of same-sex marriages and the recognition of similar unions licensed in other states; the potential litigation stemming from the 9th Circuit's ruling, which struck down Idaho's ban; the breadth and authority of the precedent such a case would have if taken up by the high court; and the resolution of church and state entanglements it would provide.

The brief also argued that Otter v. Latta should merit the Court's attention because it is "the only case now available to the Court where any public officials have mounted a truly vigorous policy defense of the man-woman understanding and definition of marriage." 

The petition also ripped the 9th Circuit's ruling as "judicial policy-making masquerading as law" that creates "enormous risks to Idaho's present and future children—including serious risks of fatherlessness, reduced parental financial and emotional support, increased crime, and greater psychological problems—with their attendant costs to Idaho and its citizens."

Same-sex couples began to receive marriage licenses in Idaho on Oct. 15, 2014 after a long legal battle following U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale's May 13, 2014 ruling that the state's ban on same-sex marriages violated individuals' constitutional rights.