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No.

14A196
IN THE
~ ~ x ~ x .e ~ .e C ~ a ~ x x # .of f ~ ~ e ~ ~ ti# e .~ ~ ~ ~ x# e s
MIC HELE B. MC QUIGG,
in h e r of f ic ia l c a p a c ity a s P r in c e Wil l ia m C oun ty C l e r k of C ir c uit C our t,
Ap p l ic a n t,
TIMOTHY B. BOSTIC , ET AL.,
Re sp on de n ts.
RESP ONSE OF TIMOTHY B. BOSTIC ET AL. TO
AP P LIC ATION TO STAY THE MANDATE P ENDING AP P EAL
DAVID BOIES
BOIES, SC HILLER c 4L FLEXNER LLP
333 Ma in St.
Ar mon k , NY 10504
(914) 749-8200
ROBERT B. SILVER
JOSHUA I. SC HILLER
BOIES, SC HILLER Sz FLEXNER LLP
575 Le x in gton Ave n ue
Ne w Yor k , NY 10022
(212) 446-2300
THEODORE B. OLSON
C oun se l of Re c or d
MATTHEW D. MC GILL
AMIR C . TAYRANI
C HANTALE FIEBIG
ASHLEY S. BOIZELLE
GIBBON, Dvr n v & C RUTC x ER LLP
1050 C on n e c tic ut Ave n ue , N.W.
Wa sh in gton , D.C . 20036
(202) 955-8500
tol son@gibson dun n .c om
THEODORE J. BOUTROUS, JR.
JOSHUA S. LIP SHUTZ
GiBSOr r , Dvr r r i & C RUTC x ER LLP
333 South Gr a n d Ave n ue
Los An ge l e s, C A 90071
(213) 229-7000
C oun se l f or Re sp on de n ts Timoth y B. Bostic , Ton y C . Lon don ,
C a r ol Sc h a l l , a n d Ma r y Town l e y
[ Addition a l c oun se l l iste d on sign a tur e p a ge )
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
I . STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HI STORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
I I . REASONS FOR DENYI NG THE STAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
A. There I s No Reas onable Probabi li t y That Thi s Court Would Revers e The
Court Of Appeals ' Deci s i on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
B. Clerk McQui gg Wi ll Not Be I rreparably Harmed I n The Abs ence Of A
St ay , And The Balance Of Eq ui t i es Wei ghs I n Favor Of Deny i ng A St ay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
C. Thi s Court 's St ay I n Herbert v. K i t chen Does Not Req ui re A St ay Of
The Fourt h Ci rcui t 's Mandat e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0
I I I . I N THE ALTERNATI VE, THE COURT SHOULD TREAT THE
APPLI CATI ON FOR STAY AS A PETI TI ON FOR A WRI T OF
CERTI ORARI AND GRANT REVI EW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
I V. CONCLUSI ON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2
i
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
Pages)
Cases
Baker v . Nelson,
409 U. S. 810 (1972) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Baskin v . Bogan,
Nos. 1:14- c v -00355- RLY- TAB, 1:14- c v -00404- RLY- TAB,
2014 WL 2884868 (S. D. Ind. June 25, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10
Bishop v . Smith,
Nos. 14- 5003, 14- 5006, 2014 WL 3537847 (10th Cir. July 18, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10
Bostic v . Rainey ,
970 F. Supp. 2d 456 (E. D. Va. 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Bostic v . Sc haefer,
No. 14-1467(L), 2014 WL 3702493 (4th Cir. July 28, 2014) . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . passim
Bourke v . Beshear,
No. 3:13- c v - 750, 2014 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 17457 (W. D. Ky . Feb. 12, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 11
Citiz ens for Equal Protec tion v . Bruning,
455 F. 3d 859 (8th Cir. 2006) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Coal. for Ec on. Equity v . Wilson,
122 F. 3d 718 (9th Cir. 1997) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Conkright v . Frommert,
129 S. Ct. 1861 (2009) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
De Leon v . Perry ,
975 F. Supp. 2d 632 (W. D. Tex. 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 11
DeBoer v . Sny der,
973 F. Supp. 2d 757 (E. D. Mic h. 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 11
Dombrowski v . Pfister,
380 U. S. 479 (1965) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 11
Elrod v . Burns,
427 U. S. 347 (1976) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
ii
Geiger v . Kitzhaber,
Nos. 6:13- c v -01834- MC, 6:13- c v -02256- MC, 2014 WL 2054264
(D. Or. May 19, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10
Griswold v . Con n ec tic u t,
391 U. S. 479 (1965) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Hen ry v . Himes,
No. 1:14- c v - 129, 2014 WL 1418395 (S. D. Ohio Apr. 14, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 11
Herbert v . Kitc hen ,
134 S. Ct. 893 (2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Hic ks v . Miran da,
422 U. S. 332 (1975) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Kitc hen v . Herbert,
No. 13- 4178, 2014 WL 2868044 (10th Cir. Ju n e 25, 2014) . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10
Latta v . Otter,
No. 1:13- c v -00482- CWD, 2014 WL 1909999 (D. Idaho May 13, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10
Lawren c e v . Texas,
539 U. S. 558 (2003) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 6
Lov e v . Beshear,
No. 3:13- c v -750- H, 2014 WL 2957671 (W. D. Ky. Ju ly 1, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10
Lov in g v . V irgin ia,
388 U. S. 1 (1967) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 5
New Motor V ehic le Bd. of Cal. v . Orrin W. Fox Co. ,
434 U. S. 1345 (1977) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Nken v . Holder,
556 U. S. 418 (2009) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Nken v . Mu kasey,
555 U. S. 1042 (2008) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
O Cen tro E spirita Ben ef ic ien te Un iao De V egetal v . Ashc rof t,
314 F. 3d 463 (10th Cir. 2002) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Obergef ell v . Wymyslo,
962 F. Su pp. 2d 968 (S. D. Ohio 2013) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
iii
Romer v . Ev ans,
517 U. S. 620 (1996) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Tanco v . Haslam,
No. 3:13- cv -01159, 2014 U. S. D i st . LEXIS 33463
(M. D . Tenn. Mar. 14, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 11
Turner v . Saf ley ,
482 U. S. 78 (1987) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Uni t ed St at es v . Wi nd sor,
133 S. C t . 2675 (2013) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1, 6, 8
Washi ngt on v . Glucksberg,
521 U. S. 702 (1997) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Whi t ewood v . Wolf ,
No. 1:13- cv - 1861, 2014 WL 2058105 (M. D . Pa. May 20, 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10
Wolf v . Walker,
986 F. Supp. 2d 982 (W. D . Wi s. 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10
Zablocki v . Red hai l,
434 U. S. 374 (1978) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1, 4, 5
C onst i t ut i onal Prov i si ons
Va. C onst . art . I, 15-A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
St at ut es
Va. C od e 20- 45. 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Va. C od e 20- 45. 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
i v
TO THE HONORABLE JOHN G. ROBERTS, JR., CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED
STATES AND CIRCUIT JUSTICE FOR THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT:
Pl a i n t i f f s Ti mot hy B. Bos t i c , Ton y C. Lon don , Ca r ol Sc ha l l , a n d Ma r y Town l ey
r es p ec t f u l l y s u bmi t t hi s op p os i t i on t o t he Ap p l i c a t i on t o St a y t he Ma n da t e Pen di n g Ap p ea l of
Pr i n c e Wi l l i a m Cou n t y Cl er k of Ci r c u i t Cou r t Mi c hel e B. Mc Qu i gg.
Cl er k Mc Qu i gg s eek s t o s t a y t he ma n da t e of t he Fou r t h Ci r c u i t ' s dec i s i on hol di n g t ha t
V i r gi n i a ' s p r ohi bi t i on on ma r r i a ge bet ween i n di v i du a l s of t he s a me s ex a n d t he r ec ogn i t i on of
s u c h ma r r i a ges p er f or med i n ot her St a t es v i ol a t es t he Du e Pr oc es s a n d Equ a l Pr ot ec t i on Cl a u s es
of t he Fou r t een t h Amen dmen t . The Fou r t h Ci r c u i t ' s dec i s i on di r ec t l y i mp l i c a t es t he r i ght s of
t en s of t hou s a n ds of ga y a n d l es bi a n V i r gi n i a n s whos e f u n da men t a l r i ght t o ma r r y ha s been
den i ed by t he Common wea l t h of V i r gi n i a . A s t a y of t he ma n da t e wou l d p r ol on g t he
u n c on s t i t u t i on a l dep r i v a t i on of t hi s r i ght t o en t er i n t o t he "mos t i mp or t a n t r el a t i on i n l i f e,"
Z a bl oc k i v . Redha i l , 434 U.S. 374, 384 (1978) (i n t er n a l qu ot a t i on ma r k s omi t t ed), des p i t e a c l ea r
c on s en s u s a mon g f eder a l c ou r t s s i n c e t hi s Cou r t ' s dec i s i on i n Un i t ed St a t es v . Wi n ds or , 133 S.
Ct . 2675 (2013), t ha t s t a t e p r ohi bi t i on s on ma r r i a ge f or ga y men a n d l es bi a n s a r e
u n c on s t i t u t i on a l .
Bec a u s e Cl er k Mc Qu i gg ha s n ot es t a bl i s hed a f a i r p r os p ec t of s u c c es s on t he mer i t s ev en
i f t hi s Cou r t gr a n t s a p et i t i on f or c er t i or a r i , ha s f a i l ed t o i den t i f y a n y i r r ep a r a bl e ha r m a s s oc i a t ed
wi t h t he i s s u a n c e of t he ma n da t e, a n d c a n n ot es t a bl i s h t ha t t he ba l a n c e of equ i t i es wei ghs i n
f a v or of s t a yi n g t he Fou r t h Ci r c u i t ' s dec i s i on , t he a p p l i c a t i on f or a s t a y s hou l d be den i ed. See
Ros t k er v . Gol dber g, 448 U.S. 1306, 1308 (1980) (Br en n a n , J., i n c ha mber s ). In t he a l t er n a t i v e,
i f a s t a y i s gr a n t ed, t hen t hi s Cou r t s hou l d t r ea t t he s t a y a p p l i c a t i on a s a p et i t i on f or a wr i t of
1
c e r t i o r a r i a nd g r a nt t h e p e t i t i o n i n o r de r t o e x p e di t e r e s o l u t i o n o f t h e s u r p a s s i ng l y i m p o r t a nt
c o ns t i t u t i o na l q u e s t i o ns p r e s e nt e d i n t h i s c a s e .
I . STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HI STORY
Pl a i nt i ffs a r e g a y a nd l e s b i a n V i r g i ni a ns wh o h a ve b e e n p r o h i b i t e d fr o m m a r r y i ng t h e i r
p a r t ne r s o r fr o m h a vi ng a m a r r i a g e p e r fo r m e d o u t o f St a t e r e c o g ni z e d b y t h e Co m m o nwe a l t h o f
V i r g i ni a o n t h e s o l e b a s i s t h a t t h e i r p a r t ne r i s a n i ndi vi du a l o f t h e s a m e s e x . Se e V a . Co ns t . a r t . I ,
15-A; s e e a l s o V a . Co de 20-4 5. 2, 20-4 5. 3 ( c o l l e c t i ve l y , " V i r g i ni a ' s Ma r r i a g e Pr o h i b i t i o n" )
( l i m i t i ng m a r r i a g e i n V i r g i ni a t o o p p o s i t e -s e x c o u p l e s ). Pl a i nt i ffs c h a l l e ng e d V i r g i ni a ' s
Ma r r i a g e Pr o h i b i t i o n o n t h e g r o u nd t h a t i t vi o l a t e s t h e Du e Pr o c e s s a nd Eq u a l Pr o t e c t i o n Cl a u s e s
o f t h e Fo u r t e e nt h Am e ndm e nt . Pl a i nt i ffs na m e d a s De fe nda nt s V i r g i ni a ' s St a t e Re g i s t r a r o f
V i t a l Re c o r ds , J a ne t Ra i ne y , a nd t h e Cl e r k o f Co u r t fo r t h e No r fo l k Ci r c u i t Co u r t , Ge o r g e E.
Sc h a e fe r , I I I , wh o i s c h a r g e d wi t h i s s u i ng m a r r i a g e l i c e ns e s .
Th e Co m m o nwe a l t h i ni t i a l l y de fe nde d t h e c o ns t i t u t i o na l i t y o f i t s Ma r r i a g e Pr o h i b i t i o n.
Aft e r t h e fi l i ng o f c r o s s-m o t i o ns fo r s u m m a r y ju dg m e nt , h o we ve r , vo t e r s i n V i r g i ni a e l e c t e d a
ne w At t o r ne y Ge ne r a l wh o s o o n c h a ng e d t h e Co m m o nwe a l t h ' s p o s i t i o n a nd r e fu s e d t o c o nt i nu e
de fe ndi ng t h e Ma r r i a g e Pr o h i b i t i o n o n b e h a l f o f Re g i s t r a r Ra i ne y . Se e No t i c e o f Ch a ng e i n
Le g a l Po s i t i o n b y De f. J a ne t M. Ra i ne y , B o s t i c v. Ra i ne y , No . 2:13-c v-003 95 ( E. D. V a . J a n. 23 ,
2014 ), ECF No . 96. At t h a t t i m e , Cl e r k Mc Qu i g g i nt e r ve ne d i n t h e p r o c e e di ng s i n de fe ns e o f
V i r g i ni a ' s Ma r r i a g e Pr o h i b i t i o n a nd a do p t e d Re g i s t r a r Ra i ne y ' s o r i g i na l s u m m a r y ju dg m e nt
b r i e fi ng a s h e r o wn. Se e Me m . o f La w i n Su p p o r t o f Mo t . t o I nt e r ve ne , B o s t i c v. Ra i ne y , No .
2:13-c v-003 95 ( E. D. V a . De c . 20, 2013 ), ECF No . 73 .
Fo l l o wi ng o r a l a r g u m e nt , t h e U. S. Di s t r i c t Co u r t fo r t h e Ea s t e r n Di s t r i c t o f V i r g i ni a h e l d
t h a t V i r g i ni a ' s Ma r r i a g e Pr o h i b i t i o n vi o l a t e d g a y m e n a nd l e s b i a ns ' fu nda m e nt a l r i g h t t o m a r r y
a nd wa s t h e r e fo r e i nva l i d u nde r t h e Du e Pr o c e s s a nd Eq u a l Pr o t e c t i o n Cl a u s e s o f t h e Fo u r t e e nt h
2
Amendment. B o s ti c v . Rai ney, 970 F. Supp. 2d 456, 483 (E.D. Va. 2014). The di s tr i c t c o ur t
enj o i ned the enfo r c ement o f Vi r g i ni a' s Mar r i ag e P r o hi b i ti o n, b ut s tayed i ts r ul i ng pendi ng the
o utc o me o f an appeal to the Fo ur th C i r c ui t. I d. at 484.
The U.S. C o ur t o f Appeal s fo r the Fo ur th C i r c ui t affi r med the di s tr i c t c o ur t' s dec i s i o n,
ho l di ng that Vi r g i ni a' s Mar r i ag e P r o hi b i ti o n v i o l ates the fundamental r i g ht o f g ay and l es b i an
i ndi v i dual s to mar r y the par tner o f thei r c ho o s i ng . See B o s ti c v . Sc haefer , No . 14- 1167(L), 2014
WL 3702493, at * 17 (4th C i r . J ul y 28, 2014). I n r eac hi ng thi s c o nc l us i o n, the Fo ur th C i r c ui t
emphas i zed the pr o fo und i mpo r tanc e o f mar r i ag e to i ndi v i dual s and s o c i ety g ener al l y, r eas o ni ng
that " [ c ] i v i l mar r i ag e i s o ne o f the c o r ner s to nes o f o ur way o f l i fe," whi c h " al l o ws i ndi v i dual s to
c el eb r ate and pub l i c l y dec l ar e thei r i ntenti o ns to fo r m l i fel o ng par tner s hi ps ." I d. The Fo ur th
C i r c ui t emphas i zed that thi s fundamental r i g ht " i s no t [ and c anno t b e] c i r c ums c r i b ed b as ed o n
the c har ac ter i s ti c s o f the i ndi v i dual s s eek i ng to ex er c i s e that r i g ht." I d. at *9.
C l er k Mc Qui g g mo v ed the Fo ur th C i r c ui t fo r a s tay o f i ts mandate o n Aug us t 1, 2014.
See Mo t. fo r Stay o f Mandate, B o s ti c v . Sc haefer , No . 14-1167(L) (4th C i r . Aug . 1, 2014), EC F
No . 238. A week l ater , the Vi r g i ni a Atto r ney Gener al fi l ed a peti ti o n fo r a wr i t o f c er ti o r ar i ,
whi c h as k s thi s C o ur t to r ev i ew and affi r m the Fo ur th C i r c ui t' s dec i s i o n. See P et. fo r Wr i t o f
C er t., Rai ney v . B o s ti c , No . 14- 153. On Aug us t 13, 2014, the Fo ur th C i r c ui t deni ed the mo ti o n
to s tay the mandate and ther eafter anno unc ed that i ts mandate i s s c hedul ed to i s s ue o n Aug us t
21, 2014. See Or der Denyi ng Mo t. fo r Stay o f Mandate, B o s ti c v . Sc haefer , No . 14-1167(L) (4th
C i r . Aug . 13, 2014), EC F No . 247.
I I . REASONS FOR DENYI NG THE STAY
I t i s wel l es tab l i s hed that " [ d] eni al o f ... i n-c hamb er s s tay appl i c ati o ns i s the no r m; r el i ef
i s g r anted o nl y i n ` ex tr ao r di nar y c as es ." ' C o nk r i g ht v . Fr o mmer t, 129 S. C t. 1861, 1861 (2009)
(Gi ns b ur g , J ., i n c hamb er s ). To o b tai n a s tay pendi ng the fi l i ng and di s po s i ti o n o f a peti ti o n fo r a
w r i t of c e r t i or a r i , " t h e a p p l i c a n t must d e mon st r a t e (1) a r e a son a b l e p r ob a b i l i t y t h a t four J ust i c e s
w i l l c on si d e r t h e i ssue suffi c i e n t l y me r i t or i ous t o g r a n t c e r t i or a r i or t o n ot e p r ob a b l e j ur i sd i c t i on ;
(2) a fa i r p r osp e c t t h a t a ma j or i t y of t h e Cour t w i l l c on c l ud e t h a t t h e d e c i si on b e l ow w a s
e r r on e ous; a n d (3) a l i k e l i h ood t h a t i r r e p a r a b l e h a r m [ w i l l ] r e sul t fr om t h e d e n i a l of a st a y . " I d .
a t 1861-62 (i n t e r n a l q uot a t i on ma r k s omi t t e d ; a l t e r a t i on i n or i g i n a l ). I n c l ose c a se s, t h e Cour t
ma y d e e m i t " a p p r op r i a t e t o b a l a n c e t h e e q ui t i e st o e x p l or e t h e r e l a t i v e h a r ms t o a p p l i c a n t a n d
r e sp on d e n t , a s w e l l a s t h e i n t e r e st s of t h e p ub l i c a t l a r g e . " I d . On b a l a n c e , t h e se fa c t or s w e i g h
h e a v i l y a g a i n st a st a y of t h e ma n d a t e i n t h i s c a se .
A. Th e r e I s No Re a son a b l e P r ob a b i l i t y Th a t Th i s Cour t Woul d Re v e r se
Th e Cour t Of Ap p e a l s' D e c i si on .
Ev e n a ssumi n g t h a t Cl e r k Mc Qui g g c a n sa t i sfy t h e fi r st p r on g of t h e st a y st a n d a r d b y
e st a b l i sh i n g t h a t four J ust i c e s a r e l i k e l y t o g r a n t t h e p e t i t i on for c e r t i or a r i , a st a y i s n ot w a r r a n t e d
b e c a use Cl e r k Mc Qui g g h a s fa i l e d t o e st a b l i sh a fa i r p r osp e c t t h a t a ma j or i t y of t h e Cour t w i l l
c on c l ud e t h a t t h e d e c i si on b e l ow w a s e r r on e ous. On t h e c on t r a r y , t h e F our t h Ci r c ui t 's
d e t e r mi n a t i on t h a t V i r g i n i a 's Ma r r i a g e P r oh i b i t i on v i ol a t e s t h e fun d a me n t a l r i g h t of g a y me n a n d
l e sb i a n s t o ma r r y i s g r oun d e d i n (a n d c on si st e n t w i t h ) t h i s Cour t 's ow n j ur i sp r ud e n c e .
F i r st , t h i s Cour t h a s r e p e a t e d l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r i g h t t o ma r r y a s i n t e g r a l t o t h e l i b e r t y
a n d p e r son a l d i g n i t y of a l l p e r son s. I n d e e d , t h i s Cour t h a s d e sc r i b e d ma r r i a g e a s t h e " most
i mp or t a n t r e l a t i on i n l i fe , " Z a b l oc k i , 434 U. S. a t 384 (i n t e r n a l q uot a t i on ma r k s omi t t e d ), " c e n t r a l
t o p e r son a l d i g n i t y a n d a ut on omy , " La w r e n c e v . Te x a s, 539 U. S. 558, 574 (2003) (i n t e r n a l
q uot a t i on ma r k s omi t t e d ), " i n t i ma t e t o t h e d e g r e e of b e i n g sa c r e d , " Gr i sw ol d v . Con n e c t i c ut , 391
U. S. 479, 486 (1965), a n d a s " on e of t h e v i t a l p e r son a l r i g h t s e sse n t i a l t o t h e or d e r l y p ur sui t of
h a p p i n e ss b y fr e e me n , " Lov i n g v . V i r g i n i a , 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967). Th e F our t h Ci r c ui t 's
r e c og n i t i on of " [ c ] i v i l ma r r i a g e [ a s] on e of t h e c or n e r st on e s of our w a y of l i fe " for b ot h sa me -se x
and h e t e r o s e x u al c o u p l e s , B o s t i c , 2014 WL 3702493, at * 17, i s c o ns i s t e nt w i t h t h i s C o u r t ' s
r u l i ng t h at m ar r i ag e i s o f "fu ndam e nt al i m p o r t anc e fo r al l i ndi v i du al s . " Z ab l o c k i , 434 U. S. at
384 (e m p h as i s adde d) .
Se c o nd, c o nt r ar y t o C l e r k Mc Qu i g g ' s ar g u m e nt t h at t h e F o u r t h C i r c u i t m i s ap p l i e d t h e
fu ndam e nt al -r i g h t s anal y s i s o f Was h i ng t o n v . G l u c k s b e r g , 521 U. S. 702, 720- 21 (1997)
(A p p l i c at i o n at 14) , t h e F o u r t h C i r c u i t ' s anal y s i s and de c i s i o n ar e w h o l l y c o ns i s t e nt w i t h t h i s
C o u r t ' s r e c o g ni t i o n o f m ar r i ag e as a fu ndam e nt al r i g h t and i t s p e r s i s t e nt r e fu s al t o ado p t a
nar r o w and e x c l u s i o nar y de fi ni t i o n o f m ar r i ag e b as e d o n t h e p ar t i c u l ar c h ar ac t e r i s t i c s o f t h e
c o u p l e o r i ndi v i du al w h o s e r i g h t s ar e at s t ak e .
In Tu r ne r v . Safl e y , 482 U. S. 78, 95 (1987) , fo r e x am p l e , t h i s C o u r t h e l d t h at
i nc ar c e r at e d p r i s o ne r s h av e a c o ns t i t u t i o nal r i g h t t o m ar r y , r e as o ni ng t h at "[m ]any i m p o r t ant
at t r i b u t e s o f m ar r i ag e r e m ai n . . . aft e r t ak i ng i nt o ac c o u nt t h e l i m i t at i o ns i m p o s e d b y p r i s o n
l i fe . . . [i nc l u di ng t h e ] e x p r e s s i o ns o f e m o t i o nal s u p p o r t and p u b l i c c o m m i t m e nt , " t h e "e x e r c i s e
o f r e l i g i o u s fai t h , " and t h e "e x p r e s s i o n o f p e r s o nal de di c at i o n, " w h i c h "ar e an i m p o r t ant and
s i g ni fi c ant as p e c t o f t h e m ar i t al r e l at i o ns h i p . " Id. at 95- 96.
Th i s C o u r t ' s de c i s i o n i n Lo v i ng v . V i r g i ni aw h i c h i nv al i dat e d V i r g i ni a' s p r o h i b i t i o n o n
m ar r i ag e b e t w e e n i ndi v i du al s o f di ffe r e nt r ac e s , 388 U. S. at 12l i k e w i s e r e fl e c t s an
u nde r s t andi ng o f m ar r i ag e as ab r o ad fu ndam e nt al r i g h t t h at do e s no t de p e nd o n t h e
c h ar ac t e r i s t i c s o f t h e i ndi v i du al e x e r c i s i ng t h e r i g h t . Inde e d, de s p i t e t h e C o m m o nw e al t h ' s
c o nt e nt i o n i n t h at c as e t h at t h e p l ai nt i ffs ' c h al l e ng e i m p l i c at e d o nl y t h e nar r o w r i g h t t o
i nt e r r ac i al m ar r i ag e , t h e C o u r t h e l d t h at "[t ]h e fr e e do m t o m ar r y h as l o ng b e e n r e c o g ni z e d as
o ne o f t h e v i t al p e r s o nal r i g h t s e s s e nt i al t o t h e o r de r l y p u r s u i t o f h ap p i ne s s " t h at "r e s i de s w i t h
t h e i n d i v i d u a l " r e g a r d l e s s of t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s r a c e or t h a t of h i s or h e r wou l d - b e s p ou s e . I d . a t 12
(e mp h a s i s a d d e d ) .
Th e F ou r t h C i r c u i t wa s t h e r e for e c or r e c t t o r e j e c t C l e r k Mc Qu i g g ' s a r g u me n t t h a t t h e
r i g h t a t i s s u e s h ou l d b e n a r r owl y d e fi n e d a s t h e r i g h t t o s a me- s e x ma r r i a g e . To h ol d ot h e r wi s e
wou l d h a v e " d i s c l os e [ d ] t h e [ F ou r t h C i r c u i t ' s ] own fa i l u r e t o a p p r e c i a t e t h e e x t e n t of t h e l i b e r t y
a t s t a k e . " La wr e n c e , 539 U. S. a t 567.
Th i r d , i n Wi n d s or , t h i s C ou r t r e c og n i z e d t h a t t h e fe d e r a l De fe n s e of Ma r r i a g e A c t ' s
d e fi n i t i on of ma r r i a g e a s l i mi t e d t o h e t e r os e x u a l u n i on s l a c k e d a n y r a t i on a l b a s i s a n d i mp os e d " a
d i s a d v a n t a g e , a s e p a r a t e s t a t u s , a n d s o a s t i g ma " on s a me- s e x c ou p l e s , 133 S. C t . a t 2693, i n
a d d i t i on t o " d i s p a r a g [ i n g ] . . . [ t h e i r ] p e r s on h ood a n d d i g n i t y ," i d . a t 2696. Li k e t h i s C ou r t , t h e
F ou r t h C i r c u i t c on d u c t e d a c a r e fu l a n a l y s i s of t h e p r offe r e d r a t i on a l e s for V i r g i n i a ' s Ma r r i a g e
P r oh i b i t i on a n d d e t e r mi n e d t h a t t h e y we r e i n s u ffi c i e n t t o j u s t i fy d e n y i n g g a y me n a n d l e s b i a n s
t h e i r fu n d a me n t a l r i g h t t o ma r r y . Se e B os t i c , 2014 WL 3702493, a t * 10- 17. I n d e e d , t h e
C ommon we a l t h h a s c on c e d e d t h e a b s e n c e of a n y l e g i t i ma t e s t a t e i n t e r e s t i n t h i s c a s e , i n c l u d i n g
a n y p u r p or t e d fe a r of t h e " l on g- t e r m e ffe c t s of r e d e fi n i n g ma r r i a g e ," A p p l i c a t i on a t 16, b y
d e c l i n i n g t o d e fe n d V i r g i n i a ' s Ma r r i a g e P r oh i b i t i on . Se e Not . of C h a n g e i n Le g a l P os i t i on b y
De f. J a n e t M. Ra i n e y , B os t i c v . Ra i n e y , No. 2:13- c v- 00395 (E. D. V a . J a n . 23, 2014 ) , EC F No.
96 (V i r g i n i a ' s A t t or n e y G e n e r a l " c on c l u d e d t h a t V i r g i n i a ' s l a ws d e n y i n g t h e r i g h t t o ma r r y t o
i
s a me- s e x c ou p l e s v i ol a t e t h e F ou r t e e n t h A me n d me n t t o t h e Un i t e d St a t e s C on s t i t u t i on ." ) .
Th a t t h e C ou r t i n Wi n d s or a l s o a c k n owl e d g e d t h a t St a t e s h a v e " e s s e n t i a l a u t h or i t y t o d e fi n e
t h e ma r r i a g e r e l a t i on ," 133 S. C t . a t 2692, d oe s n ot r e n d e r t h a t d e c i s i on i n c on s i s t e n t wi t h t h e
F ou r t h C i r c u i t ' s c on c l u s i on i n t h i s c a s e . F e d e r a l i s m c a n n ot j u s t i fy t h e d e p r i v a t i on of
fu n d a me n t a l r i g h t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y wh e r e , a s h e r e , t h e C ommon we a l t h of V i r g i n i a h a s c on c e d e d
[ F oot n ot e c on t i n u e d on n e x t p a g e ]
F i n a l l y , i n a d d i t i o n t o b e i n g c o n s i s t e n t wi t h t hi s C o u r t ' s j u r i s p r u d e n c e , t he F o u r t h
C i r c u i t ' s d e c i s i o n i s c o n s i s t e n t wi t h t he d e c i s i o n s o f n o fe we r t ha n 20 fe d e r a l c o u r t si n c l u d i n g
e ve r y fe d e r a l c o u r t t o c o n s i d e r a s t a t e b a n o n s a me- s e x ma r r i a g e s i n c e t hi s C o u r t ' s d e c i s i o n i n
Wi n d s o r . S e e , e .g ., Bi s ho p v. S mi t h, No s . 14- 5003, 14- 5006, 2014 WL 3537847 (10t h C i r . J u l y
18, 2014); Ki t c he n v. He r b e r t , No . 13- 4178, 2014 WL 2868044 (10t h C i r . J u n e 25, 2014); Lo ve
v. Be s he a r , No . 3:13- c v-750- H, 2014 WL 2957671 (W.D. Ky . J u l y 1, 2014); Ba s ki n v. Bo g a n ,
No s . 1:14- c v-00355- RLY- TAB, 1:14- c v-00404- RLY- TAB, 2014 WL 2884868 (S .D. I n d . J u n e
25, 2014); Wo l f v. Wa l ke r , 986 F . S u p p . 2d 982 (W.D. Wi s . 2014); Whi t e wo o d v. Wo l f, No . 1:13-
c v- 1861, 2014 WL 2058105 (M.D. Pa . Ma y 20, 2014); Ge i g e r v. Ki t z ha b e r , No s . 6:13-c v-01834-
MC , 6:13- c v-02256- MC , 2014 WL 2054264 (D. Or . Ma y 19, 2014); La t t a v. Ot t e r , No . 1:13- c v-
00482- C WD, 2014 WL 1909999 (D. I d a ho Ma y 13, 2014); He n r y v. Hi me s , No . 1:14- c v- 129,
2014 WL 1418395 (S .D. Ohi o Ap r . 14, 2014); De Bo e r v. S n y d e r , 973 F . S u p p . 2d 757 (E.D.
Mi c h. 2014); Ta n c o v. Ha s l a m, No . 3:13- c v-01159, 2014 U.S . Di s t . LEXI S 33463 (M.D. Te n n .
Ma r . 14, 2014); De Le o n v. Pe r r y , 975 F . S u p p . 2d 632 (W.D. Te x . 2014); Bo u r ke v. Be s he a r ,
No . 3:13- C V- 750, 2014 U.S . Di s t . LEXI S 17457 (W.D. Ky . F e b . 12, 2014); Ob e r g e fe l l v.
Wy my s l o , 962 F . S u p p . 2d 968 (S .D. Ohi o 2013).
C l e r k Mc Qu i g g a s s e r t s t ha t t he F o u r t h C i r c u i t ' s d e c i s i o n c o n fl i c t s wi t h t hi s C o u r t ' s
s u mma r y d i s mi s s a l i n Ba ke r v. Ne l s o n , 409 U.S . 810 (1972), a n d t he Ei g ht h C i r c u i t ' s d e c i s i o n i n
C i t i z e n s fo r Equ a l Pr o t e c t i o n v. Br u n i n g , 455 F .3d 859 (8t h C i r . 2006), a s we l l a s s e ve r a l s t a t e
[F o o t n o t e c o n t i n u e d fr o m p r e vi o u s p a g e ]
t ha t i t l a c ks a n y c o mp e l l i n g i n t e r e s t i n ma i n t a i n i n g Vi r g i n i a ' s Ma r r i a g e Pr o hi b i t i o n . S e e Me m.
i n S u p . o f C ha n g e i n Le g a l Po s i t i o n b y De f. Ra i n e y a t 16, Bo s t i c v. Ra i n e y , No . 2:13- c v- 00395
(E.D. Va . J a n . 23, 2014), EC F No . 96- 1 (t he a s s e r t e d r a t i o n a l e s "c a n n o t j u s t i fy d e n y i n g s a me- s e x
c o u p l e s t he i n c a l c u l a b l e b e n e fi t s o f ma r r i a g e s i mp l y b e c a u s e a ma n l o ve s a ma n o r a wo ma n
l o ve s a wo ma n").
7
c o u r t c a s e s . A p p l i c a t i o n a t 1 1-1 2. Bu t e a c h c a s e r e l i e d o n by C l e r k Mc Qu i gg p r e d a t e s Wi n d s o r ,
whe r e t hi s C o u r t c o n f i r m e d t ha t l a ws t ha t s i n gl e o u t ga y m e n a n d l e s bi a n s f o r d i s f a v o r e d
t r e a t m e n t a r e u n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l . 1 33 S . C t . a t 2695-96. Ba k e r i t s e l f ha s l o s t a n y p r e c e d e n t i a l
f o r c e i n l i ght o f t he d o c t r i n a l d e v e l o p m e n t s i n t hi s C o u r t ' s j u r i s p r u d e n c e i n c l u d i n g Ro m e r v .
Ev a n s , 51 7 U. S . 620 ( 1 996) , a n d La wr e n c e t ha t c u l m i n a t e d i n Wi n d s o r . S e e Hi c k s v . Mi r a n d a ,
422 U. S . 332, 344 ( 1 975) . A n d t he l o we r-c o u r t d e c i s i o n s p r e d a t i n g Wi n d s o ri n c l u d i n g t he
Ei ght h C i r c u i t ' s d e c i s i o n i n Br u n i n g p r o v i d e n o ba s i s f o r c o n c l u d i n g t ha t t hi s C o u r t i s l i k e l y t o
r e v e r s e t he F o u r t h C i r c u i t ' s d e c i s i o n i n t hi s c a s e .
Be c a u s e t he F o u r t h C i r c u i t ' s d e c i s i o n i s f u l l y c o n s i s t e n t wi t h t hi s C o u r t ' s j u r i s p r u d e n c e
a n d wi t h t he d e c i s i v e we i ght o f l o we r-c o u r t a u t ho r i t y, C l e r k Mc Qu i gg c a n n o t e s t a bl i s h a f a i r
p r o s p e c t o f s u c c e s s o n t he m e r i t s .
B. C l e r k Mc Qu i gg Wi l l No t Be Ir r e p a r a bl y Ha r m e d In The A bs e n c e Of
A S t a y, A n d The Ba l a n c e Of Eq u i t i e s We i ghs In F a v o r Of De n yi n g A
S t a y.
In a d d i t i o n t o he r f a i l u r e t o e s t a bl i s h a n y f a i r p r o s p e c t o f s u c c e s s o n t he m e r i t s , C l e r k
Mc Qu i gg ha s f a i l e d t o d e m o n s t r a t e t ha t s he o r t he p u bl i c wo u l d be i r r e p a r a bl y ha r m e d i n t he
a bs e n c e o f a s t a y o r t ha t t he ba l a n c e o f e q u i t i e s f a v o r s t he i s s u a n c e o f a s t a y o f t he m a n d a t e .
Te l l i n gl y, C l e r k Mc Qu i gg d e v o t e s o n l y a p a r a gr a p h o f he r a p p l i c a t i o n t o a n e x p l a n a t i o n
o f i r r e p a r a bl e ha r m ( A p p l i c a t i o n a t 1 7-1 8) , a n d t he o n l y t he o r y t ha t s he o f f e r s i s t he c l a i m t ha t
s he wi l l be i r r e p a r a bl y ha r m e d i f s he i s n o t p e r m i t t e d t o e n f o r c e " V i r gi n i a ' s m a n-wo m a n
m a r r i a ge l a ws . " Id . a t 1 8. Bu t n o n e o f t he c a s e s c i t e d by C l e r k Mc Qu i gg s t a n d s f o r t he
p r o p o s i t i o n t ha t a s t a y m u s t i s s u e whe r e t he o n l y t he o r y o f i r r e p a r a bl e ha r m i s t ha t p u bl i c
o f f i c i a l s wi l l be u n a bl e t o e n f o r c e d e m o c r a t i c a l l y e n a c t e d l a ws t ha t ha v e be e n a d j u d ge d t o be
u n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l . 2 I n d e e d , whe n we i ghi n g t he r i ght o f v o t e r s a n d p u b l i c o ffi c i a l s t o t he
e n fo r c e m e n t o f d e m o c r a t i c a l l y e n a c t e d l a ws a ga i n s t t he r i ght o f i n d i v i d u a l s n o t t o b e d e p r i v e d o f
fu n d a m e n t a l r i ght s , t he b a l a n c e m u s t t i l t ( a s t he F o u r t h C i r c u i t r e c o gn i z e d ) d e c i d e d l y i n fa v o r o f
t he p r o t e c t i o n o f fu n d a m e n t a l r i ght s . Se e B o s t i c , 2 014 WL 3702 493, a t * 12 ( e m p ha s i z i n g t ha t
" t he p e o p l e ' s wi l l i s n o t a n i n d e p e n d e n t c o m p e l l i n g i n t e r e s t t ha t wa r r a n t s d e p r i v i n g s a m e- s e x
c o u p l e s o f t he i r fu n d a m e n t a l r i ght t o m a r r y , " a n d " n e i t he r V i r gi n i a ' s fe d e r a l i s m- b a s e d i n t e r e s t i n
d e fi n i n g m a r r i a ge n o r [a ] r e s p e c t fo r t he d e m o c r a t i c p r o c e s s t ha t c o d i fi e d t ha t d e fi n i t i o n c a n
e x c u s e t he V i r gi n i a Ma r r i a ge La ws ' i n fr i n ge m e n t o f t he r i ght t o m a r r y" ) . Li k e wi s e , i n t he
u n l i k e l y e v e n t o f r e v e r s a l b y t hi s C o u r t , a n y p u r p o r t e d u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t t he v a l i d i t y o f s a m e- s e x
m a r r i a ge s p e r fo r m e d b e fo r e t ha t d e c i s i o n c o u l d b e a d d r e s s e d o n r e m a n d . I n a n y e v e n t , t ha t r i s k
o f u n c e r t a i n t y fa l l s o n t ho s e s a m e- s e x c o u p l e s who c ho o s e t o m a r r y b e fo r e t hi s C o u r t ha s r u l e d ,
r a t he r t ha n o n C l e r k Mc Qu i gg o r t he C o m m o n we a l t h.
Mo r e o v e r , t he b a l a n c e o f e q u i t i e s a n d t he p u b l i c i n t e r e s t s t r o n gl y fa v o r d e n i a l o f a s t a y .
B e c a u s e t he r i ght t o m a r r y i s fu n d a m e n t a l , d e n y i n g t ha t r i ght t o ga y m e n a n d l e s b i a n s , e v e n i f
o n l y fo r a n i n t e r i m p e r i o d , c a n n o t p l a u s i b l y b e c ha r a c t e r i z e d a s " a m o d e s t d e l a y i n o b t a i n i n g t he
C o m m o n we a l t h' s o ffi c i a l s a n c t i o n o f t he i r r e l a t i o n s hi p s . " A p p l i c a t i o n a t 2 1. To t he c o n t r a r y ,
2 Se e Ne w Mo t o r V e hi c l e B d . o f C a l . v . Or r i n W. F o x C o . , 434 U. S. 1345, 1351 ( 1977)
( R e hn q u i s t , J . , i n c ha m b e r s ) ( s t a y i n g a ju d gm e n t e n jo i n i n g e n fo r c e m e n t o f t he C a l i fo r n i a
A u t o m o b i l e F r a n c hi s e A c t b e c a u s e t he d i s t r i c t c o u r t e r r e d i n ho l d i n g t ha t a n a u t o m o b i l e
m a n u fa c t u r e r ha d a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y -p r o t e c t e d l i b e r t y i n t e r e s t i n l o c a t i n g i t s d e a l e r s hi p s whe r e v e r
i t p l e a s e d ) ; O C e n t r o E s p i r i t a B e n e fi c i e n t e Un i a o De V e ge t a l v . A s hc r o ft , 314 F . 3d 463, 467
( 10t h C i r . 2 002 ) ( s t a y i n g ju d gm e n t e n jo i n i n g e n fo r c e m e n t o f a p r o v i s i o n o f t he C o n t r o l l e d
Su b s t a n c e s A c t d e s p i t e p o s s i b l e i n fr i n ge m e n t o f fr e e e x e r c i s e r i ght s whe r e t he i n ju n c t i o n wo u l d
ha v e r e q u i r e d t he fe d e r a l go v e r n m e n t t o v i o l a t e a n i n t e r n a t i o n a l t r e a t y ) ; C o a l . fo r E c o n . E q u i t y v .
Wi l s o n , 12 2 F . 3d 718, 719 ( 9t h C i r . 1997) ( d e n y i n g m o t i o n fo r a s t a y o f t he Ni n t h C i r c u i t ' s
m a n d a t e whe r e t he c o u r t o f a p p e a l s fo u n d t ha t t he d i s t r i c t c o u r t ' s i n ju n c t i o n a ga i n s t e n fo r c e m e n t
o f a s t a t e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l a m e n d m e n t wa s p r e d i c a t e d o n a l e ga l e r r o r ) .
t h e d e n i a l of t h a t r i g h t i r r e p a r a b l y h a r ms P l a i n t i ffs a n d a l l ot h e r g a y me n a n d l e sb i a n s i n
V i r g i n i a , wh e t h e r i t i s d e n i e d d u r i n g t h e p e n d e n cy of t h i s C ou r t ' s r e vi e w or for a n i n d e fi n i t e
p e r i od . Se e El r od v. Bu r n s, 427 U. S. 347, 373 (1976) ("Th e l oss of [ con st i t u t i on a l ] fr e e d oms, for
e ve n mi n i ma l p e r i od s of t i me , u n q u e st i on a b l y con st i t u t e s i r r e p a r a b l e i n j u r y ."). As t h e F ou r t h
C i r cu i t r e cog n i z e d , "[ d ] e n y i n g sa me- se x cou p l e s [ t h e r i g h t t o ma r r y ] p r oh i b i t s t h e m fr om
p a r t i ci p a t i n g fu l l y i n ou r soci e t y " a n d "i s p r e ci se l y t h e t y p e of se g r e g a t i on t h a t t h e F ou r t e e n t h
Ame n d me n t ca n n ot cou n t e n a n ce . " Bost i c, 2014 WL 3702493, a t * 17. Su ch a p r oh i b i t i on sh ou l d
n ot b e p e r mi t t e d t o st a n d , e ve n d u r i n g t h e p e n d e n cy of a n a p p e a l , b e ca u se e a ch d a y P l a i n t i ffs'
r i g h t t o ma r r y i s d e n i e d i s a d a y t h a t ca n n e ve r b e r e t u r n e d t o t h e ma wr on g t h a t ca n n e ve r b e
r e me d i e d . Se e Domb r owski v. P fi st e r , 380 U. S. 479, 486 (1965) ("su b st a n t i a l l oss or
i mp a i r me n t " of a con st i t u t i on a l r i g h t i s a n "i r r e p a r a b l e i n j u r y")
C . Th i s C ou r t ' s St a y In He r b e r t v. Ki t ch e n Doe s Not Re q u i r e A St a y Of
Th e F ou r t h C i r cu i t ' s Ma n d a t e .
Th i s C ou r t ' s i ssu a n ce of a st a y i n He r b e r t v. Ki t ch e n , 134 S. C t . 893 (2014), d oe s n ot
comp e l t h e i ssu a n ce of a st a y i n t h i s ca se . Se e Ap p l i ca t i on a t 18. It i s we l l e st a b l i sh e d t h a t
wh e t h e r or n ot t o st a y t h e ma n d a t e fa l l s wi t h i n t h i s C ou r t ' s d i scr e t i on a n d t u r n s on t h e p a r t i cu l a r
ci r cu mst a n ce s of e a ch ca se . Se e Nke n v. Hol d e r , 556 U. S. 418, 433 (2009).
Si n ce t h e C ou r t i ssu e d i t s st a y i n He r b e r t on J a n u a r y 6, 2014, i t h a s b e come e ve n mor e
cl e a r t h a t C l e r k McQu i g g a n d ot h e r l i t i g a n t s d e fe n d i n g p r oh i b i t i on s on ma r r i a g e b y sa me- se x
cou p l e s h a ve l i t t l e l i ke l i h ood of su cce ss on t h e me r i t s: t wo fe d e r a l cou r t s of a p p e a l s a n d e l e ve n
fe d e r a l d i st r i ct cou r t s h a ve i n va l i d a t e d st a t e b a n s on ma r r i a g e b y g a y me n a n d l e sb i a n s a ft e r t h a t
st a y r u l i n g , wi t h ou t a si n g l e fe d e r a l d e ci si on t o t h e con t r a r y . Se e , e . g . , Bi sh op , 2014 WL
3537847; Ki t ch e n , 2014 WL 2868044; Love , 2014 WL 295767; Ba ski n , 2014 WL 2884868;
Wol f, 986 F . Su p p . 2d a t 982; Wh i t e wood , 2014 WL 2058105; Ge i g e r , 2014 WL 2054264; La t t a ,
10
2014 WL 1909999; Henry, 2014 WL 1418395; DeBoer, 973 F . Supp. 2d a t 757; Ta nco, 2014
U. S. Di s t . LEXIS 33463; De Leon, 975 F . Supp. 2d a t 632; Bourke, 2014 U. S. Di s t . LEXIS
17457.
Moreover, unl i ke i n K i t ch en, wh ere t h e St a t e of Ut a h cont i nues t o defend t h e
cons t i t ut i ona l i t y of i t s proh i b i t i on on m a rri a g e b et ween i ndi vi dua l s of t h e s a m e s ex , t h e
Com m onwea l t h h a s conceded i n t h i s ca s e t h a t V i rg i ni a ' s Ma rri a g e P roh i b i t i on i s
uncons t i t ut i ona l , wh i ch concl us i vel y dem ons t ra t es t h a t t h e Com m onwea l t h h a s no l eg i t i m a t e
i nt eres t i n l ea vi ng t h es e di s cri m i na t ory m ea s ures i n pl a ce pendi ng furt h er a ppea l . Th e
Com m onwea l t h ' s conces s i ont og et h er wi t h t h e unb roken l i ne of a ut h ori t y i nva l i da t i ng s t a t e
m a rri a g e b a ns s i nce t h e Court ' s s t a y rul i ngm a kes t h e s t a y a na l ys i s i n t h i s ca s e m a t eri a l l y
di fferent from t h e one i n K i t ch en.
Here, t h e ci rcum s t a nces ca l l for i s s ua nce of t h e m a nda t e a nd t h e i m m edi a t e enforcem ent
of t h e di s t ri ct court ' s i nj unct i on proh i b i t i ng V i rg i ni a from cont i nui ng t o deny i t s g a y a nd l es b i a n
res i dent s t h ei r funda m ent a l ri g h t t o m a rry.
III. IN THE ALTERNATIV E, THE COURT SHOULD TREAT THE
AP P LICATION F OR STAY AS A P ETITION F OR A WRIT OF
CERTIORARI AND GRANT REV IEW
P l a i nt i ffs ' funda m ent a l cons t i t ut i ona l ri g h t s a re b ei ng vi ol a t ed ea ch da y t h a t V i rg i ni a ' s
Ma rri a g e P roh i b i t i on cont i nues t o proh i b i t t h em from m a rryi ng t h e pa rt ner of t h ei r ch oi ce. See
Dom b rows ki , 380 U. S. a t 486. P l a i nt i ffs t h erefore h a ve a n overri di ng i nt eres t i n t h e ex pedi t i ous
res ol ut i on of t h i s ca s e a nd t h e prom pt t erm i na t i on of a ny s t a y i s s ued b y t h i s Court . Accordi ng l y,
i f t h i s Court does g ra nt a s t a y of t h e F ourt h Ci rcui t ' s m a nda t et h ereb y l ea vi ng i n pl a ce
V i rg i ni a ' s Ma rri a g e P roh i b i t i on pendi ng t h e res ol ut i on of t h e ca s e b y t h i s Courti t s h oul d t rea t
t h e Appl i ca t i on a s a pet i t i on for a wri t of cert i ora ri , g ra nt t h e pet i t i on, a nd s et t h e ca s e for ful l
11
b r i e f i n g an d ar g ume n t on th e me r i ts . Se e Nke n v . Mukas e y, 555 U. S. 1042, 1042 (2008) (upon
g r an ti n g an appl i c ati on f or a s tay, th e Cour t r ul e d th at " th e appl i c ati on f or s tay i s tr e ate d as a
pe ti ti on f or w r i t of c e r ti or ar i" ).
By appl yi n g to th i s Cour t f or a s tay, Cl e r k Mc Qui g g h as al r e ady s i g n al e d h e r i n te n ti on to
f i l e a pe ti ti on f or a w r i t of c e r ti or ar i . Se e A ppl i c ati on at 1 (r e f e r e n c i n g " P e ti ti on e r ' s f or th c omi n g
pe ti ti on f or a w r i t of c e r ti or ar i" ). R ath e r th an aw ai t th e f i l i n g of Cl e r k Mc Qui g g ' s pe ti ti on
w h i c h c oul d b e f i l e d as l ate as Oc tob e r 27, 2014 th e Cour t s h oul d tr e at h e r appl i c ati on f or a
s tay as h e r pe ti ti on f or c e r ti or ar i i n th e e v e n t th at th e Cour t g r an ts a s tay. Th at pe ti ti on s h oul d b e
g r an te d b e c aus e th e e x tr aor di n ar i l y i mpor tan t q ue s ti on pr e s e n te d i n th i s l i ti g ati on di r e c tl y af f e c ts
th e mos t b as i c c i v i l r i g h ts of g ay an d l e s b i an i n di v i dual s ac r os s th e c oun tr y an d i s th e s ub j e c t of
on g oi n g l i ti g ati on i n doze n s of j ur i s di c ti on s . On l y th i s Cour t c an de f i n i ti v e l y r e s ol v e th at i s s ue
an d put a s w i f t an d i mme di ate e n d to th e de n i al of g ay an d l e s b i an A me r i c an s ' f un dame n tal r i g h t
to mar r y.
Tr e ati n g Cl e r k Mc Qui g g ' s A ppl i c ati on as a pe ti ti on f or a w r i t of c e r ti or ar i w i l l h as te n th i s
Cour t' s r e s ol uti on of th e c as e an d mi n i mi ze th e on g oi n g , dai l y i r r e par ab l e i n j ur y th at P l ai n ti f f s
an d te n s of th ous an ds of oth e r g ay me n an d w ome n w i l l c on ti n ue to s us tai n e ac h day th at a s tay
r e mai n s i n pl ac e .
IV. CONCLUSION
For th e f or e g oi n g r e as on s , th e A ppl i c ati on to Stay th e Man date P e n di n g A ppe al s h oul d b e
de n i e d. In th e al te r n ati v e , th e Cour t s h oul d tr e at th e A ppl i c ati on as a pe ti ti on f or a w r i t of
c e r ti or ar i , g r an t th e pe ti ti on , an d s e t th e c as e f or b r i e f i n g an d ar g ume n t on th e me r i ts .
12
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v .
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P a u l M. S mi t h
L u k e C. P la t z er
Jenner &Bloc k L L P
1099 New Yor k A venu e, NW, S u i t e 900
Wa shi ngt on D.C. 20001
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Cou nsel f or Respondent Ha r r i s Cla ss
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