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No.

14A196
IN THE
~5~ren~te C ~n~x r~ n~ #~e ~x ri ~Y e~~S ttttes
MIC HELE B. MC QUIGG, i n her of f i c i a l c a pa c i ty a s Pri nc e Wi l l i a m C ounty C l erk of
C ourt,
Appl i c a n t
v.
TIMOTHY B. BOS TIC , ET AL.,
Res pondents .
RES PONS E OF THE HARRIS C LAS S RES PONDENTS TO APPLIC ATION
TO S TAY MANDATE PENDING APPEAL
REBEC C A K. GLENBERG
C LAIRE G. GAS TANAGA
AMERIC AN C IVIL LIBERTIES UNION
OF VIRGINIA FOUNDATION, INC .
701 E. Fra nkl i n S treet, S ui te 1412
Ri c hmond, VA 23219
(804) 644- 8080
JnMEs D. Es S Ex s
JOS HUA A. BLOC K
S TEVEN R. S HAPIRO
AMERIC AN C IVIL LIBERTIES UNION FOUNDATION
125 Broa d S treet, 18th Fl oor
New Y ork, NY 10004
(212) 549- 2500
JON W. DAVIDS ON
T,AMBDA LEGAL DEFENS E AND EDUC ATION
FUND, INC .
4421 Wi l s hi re Bl vd., S ui te 280
Los Angel es , C A 90010
(213) 382- 7600
PAUL M. S MITH
C ouns el of Rec ord
LUKE C . PLATZER
MARK P. GABER
JENNER &BLOC K LLP
1099 New Y ork Avenue, NW, S ui te 900
Wa s hi ngton, DC 20001
(202) 639- 6000
ps mi th@jenner.c om
GREGORY R. NEVINS
TAR,A L. BORELLI
T.AMBDA LEGAL DEFENS E AND EDUC ATION
FUND, INC .
730 Pea c htree S treet, NE
Atl a nta , GA 30308
(404) 897- 1880
C ouns el f or Ha rri s C l a s s Res pondents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLEOF AUTHORITIES
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i i
STATEMENT
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
ARGUMENT
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
I. The Court Should Deny the Requested Stay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
II. If the Court Grants the Stay, i t Should Treat the Stay
Appli cati on as a P eti ti on f or a Wri t of Certi orari and Grant i t. . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
CONCLUSION
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
CasES
Barnes v . E-Systems, Inc . Group Hosp. Medic al &Surgic al Insuranc e Plan,
501 U. S. 1301 ~1991)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 , 9, 12, 14
Bishop v . Smith, No. 14-5003, _F. 3d _, 2014 WL 35378 47 (10th Cir. July
18 , 2014), petition for c ert. filed (U. S. Aug. 6, 2014) (No. 14-136) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 16
Bostic v . Rainey, 970 F. Supp. 2d 456 (E. D. Va. 2014), affil, No. 14-1167,
F. 3d , 2014 WL 3702493 (4th Cir. July 28 , 2014), petition for c ert. filed
U. S. Aug. 8 , 2014) ~No. 14-153)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1, 5, 12
Bostic v . Sc haefer, No. 14-1167, F. 3d _, 2014 WL 3702493 (4th Cir. July
28 , 2014), petition for c ert. filed (U. S. Aug. 8 , 2014) (No. 14-153) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 15
Citizens for Equal Protec tion v . Bruning, 455 F. 3d 8 59 (8 th Cir. 2006) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Ev ans v . Utah, No. 14CV55, _F. Supp. 2d _, 2014 WL 2048 343 (D. Utah
May 19, 2014)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Herbert v . Ev ans, No. 14A65, 2014 WL 3557112 (U. S. July 18 , 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Herbert v . Kitc hen, 134 S. Ct. 8 93 (2014)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Kitc hen v . Herbert, No. 13-4178 , _F. 3d _, 2014 WL 28 68 044 (10th Cir.
June 25, 2014), petition for c ert. filed (U. S. Aug. 5, 2014) (No. 14-124). . . . . . . . . 10, 11
Lawrenc e v . Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2003)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 5, 6
Lov ing v . Virginia, 38 8 U. S. 1 ~1967)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Nken v .
Mukasey,
555 U. S. 1042 ~2008 )
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Turner v . Safley, 48 2 U. S. 78 ~198 7)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
United States v . Windsor, 133 S. Ct. . 2657 (2013)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Zabloc ki v . Redhail, 434 U. S. 374 (1978 )
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
STATUTES
28 U. S. C. 2101
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Va. Const. art. I, 15-A
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
ii
OTHER AUTHORITIES
http~//www.lambdalegal.org/post- windsor- rulings
.......................................................9
Motion of Appellant McQuigg for a Stay of Mandate Pending Filing of
Petition for a Writ of C ertiorari, Bostic v . Schaefer, No. 14- 1167, 2014 WL
370249 3 (4th C ir. Aug. 1, 2014), EC F No. 238
......................................................15
111
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
Joanne Harris, Christy Berghoff, Jessica Duff, and V ictoria Kidd, as
representatives of the class of all same- sex couples in V irginia except for the four
plaintiffs in Bostic v. Rainey, 970 F. Supp. 2d 456 (E.D. V a. 2014), aff' d, No. 14-
1167, _ F.3d _, 2014 WL 3702493 (4th Cir. July 28, 2014), petition for cert. filed
(U.S. Aug. 8, 2014) (No. 14- 153) ("the Harris Class Respondents)1 hereby oppose
Applicant Michele McQuigg' s Motion to Stay the Mandate. A stay is not j ustified
because there is only a small lik elihood that the Court would ultimately reverse the
j udgment below and because granting a stay would impose severe and irreparable
harm on V irginia same- sex couples and their children. I f, however, the Court
grants a stay, we urge the Court to tak e steps to resolve this matter expeditiously
by treating McQuigg' s stay application as a petition for a writ of certiorari in
which the Harris Class Respondents acquiesce and granting it in order to
minimize the harm imposed on same- sex couples in the Commonwealth while a
stay is in effect.
Under the traditional factors analyzed by this Court when considering such
requests, applicant McQuigg has offered no persuasive argument for granting a
stay. First, there is only a small lik elihood that this Court will ultimately reverse
1 The Harris Class Respondents are the four named plaintiffs in Harris v.
McDonnell, No. 5~13- cv- 00077 (W.D. V a.), filed on August 1, 2013, who represent a
certified class. After the district court in Bostic ruled that the V irginia marriage
ban is unconstitutional, the Fourth Circuit allowed the Harris Class Respondents to
intervene in the Bostic appeal and made them parties to this proceeding.
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the judgment below. Since this C our t' s decis ion in United States v . Winds or , 133
S. C t. 2675 (2013), twenty- f iv e f eder al cour t decis ions in a r ow hav e gr anted
judgments or inter im injunctiv e r elief , under the Four teenth Amendment, bar r ing
s tates f r om denying s ame- s ex couples the r ight to mar r y and the r ight to hav e
their out- of - s tate mar r iages legally r ecogniz ed. The Four th C ir cuit' s decis ion,
addr es s ing V ir ginia' s mar r iage ban f or s ame- s ex couples , is s imply one of many in
this unbr oken line of r ulings . This unanimity not only under cuts the ar gument f or
a gr ant of r ev iew, but als o indicates that the likely outcome, if the C our t does
gr ant cer tior ar i, will be af f ir mance of the Four th C ir cuit decis ion, which is f ully
cons is tent with this C our t' s equal pr otection and due pr oces s jur is pr udence and
f ollows f aithf ully the r ulings in Winds or and in Lawr ence v . Tex as , 539 U.S. 558
(2003).
Mor eov er , the balance of the equities in this cas e tips decidedly agains t
is s uing a s tay. Ther e ar e appr ox imately 14,000 V ir ginia s ame- s ex couples that
make up the clas s r epr es ented by the Har r is C las s Res pondents . All will s uf f er
f r om the continued depr iv ation of their cons titutional r ights . And that har m is not
abs tr act or s peculativ e many will s uf f er in ways that ar e par ticular ly acute. While
this cas e r emains pending, childr en will be bor n, lif e par tner s will die, and lov ed
ones will f all. unex pectedly ill leav ing member s of the clas s to f ace thos e impor tant
lif e ev ents , and per s onal cr is es , without the cr itical legal pr otections that mar r iage
would pr ov ide, s uch as the ability to make medical decis ions f or a par tner or child,
r ights to intes tate inher itance or to s ue f or wr ongf ul death, pr es umptions of
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parentage, and ac c es s to s tep- parent ado ptio n. Time is o f the es s enc e fo r thes e
c o u pl es , who have waited l o ng eno u gh to have their c o ns titu tio nal rights , twic e
affirmed by the federal c o u rts , final l y rec o gnized by the go vernment o f the s tate in
whic h they l ive.
Co nvers el y, any interim bu rden o n Appl ic ant Mc Qu igg wo u l d be de minimis ,
if no t al to gether no nex is tent, and the s u ppo s ed inc o nvenienc e to o thers fro m
rec o gnizing the rights o f s ame- s ex married c o u pl es du ring the interim again, if
any is s u bs tantial l y o u tweighed by the irreparabl e harm to the c l as s fro m the
o ngo ing denial o f vital l egal rights and pro tec tio ns . Indeed, the inabil ity o f
defenders o f pro hibitio ns o n marriage fo r s ame- s ex c o u pl es to make a pers u as ive
s ho wing that s u c h pro hibitio ns s erve any pu rpo s e o r pro tec t agains t any real
harm is bo th the reas o n that a s tay s ho u l d no t is s u e and the reas o n that the
federal c o u rts have c o ns is tentl y fo u nd s u c h pro hibitio ns u nc o ns titu tio nal s inc e this
Co u rt' s dec is io n in Winds o r.
The appl ic atio n fo r a s tay thu s s ho u l d be denied. Ho wever, given the u rgenc y
o f the is s u e fo r tho u s ands o f Virginians in c o mmitted s ame- s ex rel atio ns hips and
the harms they wo u l d s u ffer fro m c o ntinu ed del ay, if the Co u rt grants the s tay, the
Harris Cl as s Res po ndents requ es t that the Co u rt treat Mc Qu igg' s appl ic atio n as a
petitio n fo r a writ o f c ertio rari ( in whic h the Harris Cl as s res po ndents ac qu ies c e) ,
and grant it, s o that the is s u e c an be pres ented to the Co u rt as pro mptl y as po s s ibl e.
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STATEMENT
V i r g i n i a ha s en a cted a ser i es of la ws wi thholdi n g the fr eedom to ma r r y fr om
sa me- sex cou p les. These cu lmi n a ted i n a 2006 sta te con sti tu ti on a l a men dmen t,
a p p r oved by p op u la r vote, tha t (1) ba r s celebr a ti on or r ecog n i ti on of a n y ma r r i a g e
n ot i n volvi n g on e ma n a n d on e woma n , a n d (2) a lso ba r s cr ea ti on or r ecog n i ti on of
a n y other leg a l sta tu s for u n ma r r i ed cou p les i n ten ded to p r ovi de the "desi g n ,
q u a li ti es, si g n i fi ca n ce, or effects of ma r r i a g e" or to p r ovi de a n y of the "r i g hts,
ben efi ts, obli g a ti on s, q u a li ti es, or effects of ma r r i a g e. " V a . Con st. a r t. I , 15- A. As
a r esu lt, lesbi a n s a n d g a y men i n the Common wea lth who a r e i n lon g - ter m
commi tted r ela ti on shi p s n ot on ly ca n n ot ma r r y bu t a lso a r e u n a ble to obta i n a n y
other leg a l sta tu s tha t wi ll be r esp ected i f a cou r t la ter deter mi n es tha t tha t sta tu s
wa s desi g n ed to si mu la te ma r r i a g e or i f i t p r ovi des a n y of ma r r i a g e's p r otecti on s.
The Ha r r i s r esp on den ts a r e two sa me- sex cou p les i n commi tted, lovi n g
r ela ti on shi p s who r esi de i n V i r g i n i a . Ea ch cou p le i s r a i si n g a chi ld. Joa n n e Ha r r i s
a n d Jessi ca Du ff a r e u n ma r r i ed bu t wi sh to ma r r y i n thei r home sta te. Chr i sty
Ber g hoff a n d V i ctor i a Ki dd wer e ma r r i ed i n the Di str i ct of Colu mbi a bu t thei r
ma r r i a g e i s n ot r ecog n i zed i n thei r home sta te. They fi led a cha llen g e to the
V i r g i n i a ma r r i a g e ba n i n the U. S. Di str i ct Cou r t for the Wester n Di str i ct of V i r g i n i a
on Au g u st 1, 2013, two weeks a fter the Bosti c r esp on den ts fi led su i t i n the Ea ster n
Di str i ct of V i r g i n i a . The Ha r r i s ca se wa s the fi r st to i n clu de a cla i m for r ecog n i ti on
of ou t- of- sta te ma r r i a g es. I t a lso sou g ht cer ti fi ca ti on of a p la i n ti ff cla ss. On
Ja n u a r y 31, 2014, the Ha r r i s di str i ct cou r t cer ti fi ed, u n der Feder a l Ru le of Ci vi l
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Procedure 2 3 ( b ) ( 2 ) , a cl as s of al l s ame- s ex coupl es in the Commonweal th ex cept the
four Bos tic res pondents , who had reques ted ex cl us ion. After the Bos tic dis trict
court granted s ummary judgment for the pl aintiffs in that cas e, the Harris
res pondents moved to intervene in the res ul ting appeal and their motion was
granted b y the Fourth Circuit.
The Bos tic dis trict court rul ed in favor of the pl aintiffs on their cl aims that
the V irginia marriage b an viol ates the due proces s and equal protection cl aus es of
the Fourteenth Amendment. Bos tic v. Rainey, 970 F. Supp. 2 d 456 ( E. D. V a. 2 014) .
Turning firs t to due proces s , the court hel d that the b an b urdened the fundamental
right to marry and thus had to s atis fy s trict s crutiny, citing numerous decis ions of
this Court incl uding Turner v. Safl ey, 482 U. S. 78 ( 1987) ; Zab l ocki v. Redhail , 43 4
U. S. 3 74 ( 1978) and Loving v. V irginia, 3 88 U. S. 1 ( 1967) . 970 F. Supp. 2 d at 470-
73 .
The court then rejected each of the proffered rational es for the b an as
ins ufficient to s atis fy s trict s crutiny. 970 F. Supp. 2 d at 473 - 80. I t recognized that
an argument b as ed on " tradition" was es s ential l y a res tatement of the argument
that the Commonweal th coul d dis criminate agains t gay and l es b ian coupl es b as ed
on judgments ab out their moral worth. I d, at 473 - 75. Such an argument, the court
hel d, cannot prevail in the wake of Lawrence v. Tex as , 53 9 U. S. 558 ( 2 003 ) . The
court s imil arl y rejected petitioners ' invocation of federal is m, noting that s tates mus t
adhere to the Cons titution even when ex ercis ing their core functions l ike
es tab l is hing domes tic rel ations l aws . 970 F. Supp. 2 d at 475- 77. Final l y, the court
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r e j e c t e d t he ar gume nt t hat e xc lud ing same - se x c ouple s fr om mar r iage se r ve s t o
e nhanc e t he w e ll- b e ing of c hild r e n. I t found t his j ust ific at ion illogic al b e c ause t he
mar r iage b an ne e d le ssly har ms and st igmat iz e s t he c hild r e n b e ing r aise d b y same -
se x c ouple s w hile not b e ar ing any r at ional r e lat ionship t o t he int e r e st s of c hild r e n
b e ing r aise d b y d iffe r e nt se x c ouple s. I d . at 477-80.
Tur ning ne xt t o e qual pr ot e c t ion, t he d ist r ic t c our t he ld t he r e w as no ne e d t o
d e t e r mine t he le ve l of sc r ut iny applic ab le t o law s d isc r iminat ing b ase d on se xual
or ie nt at ion, b e c ause t he mar r iage b an fails e ve n r at ional- b asis sc r ut iny . I d , at 480-
82. Taking int o ac c ount t he st r ong e vid e nc e t hat V ir ginia' s pub lic polic y t ow ar d
le sb ian and gay c ouple s is b ase d pr imar ily on mor al d isappr oval and pr e j ud ic e , t he
c our t d e t e r mine d t hat t he pr offe r e d j ust ific at ions j ust d isc usse d fail t o supply a
le git imat e and r at ional b asis suppor t ing t he d isc r iminat ion at issue . I d . at 481.
The Four t h C ir c uit affir me d . Se e App. B t o t he St ay Applic at ion. The
maj or it y agr e e d w it h t he d ist r ic t c our t t hat t he V ir ginia mar r iage b an int e r fe r e s
w it h t he e xe r c ise of t he fund ame nt al r ight of mar r iage . I d . at 24a. I n so d oing, it
r e j e c t e d t he not ion t hat t his fund ame nt al r ight only pr ot e c t s d iffe r e nt se x c ouple s.
I d . The c our t of appe als ac c or d ingly he ld t hat V ir ginia' s d isc r iminat or y law must
sat isfy st r ic t c onst it ut ional sc r ut iny .
Apply ing t hat sc r ut iny , t he c our t had lit t le t r oub le r e j e c t ing t he pr offe r e d
j ust ific at ions of (1) fe d e r alism, (2) hist or y and t r ad it ion, (3) safe guar d ing t he
inst it ut ion of mar r iage , (4) " r e sponsib le pr oc r e at ion, " and (5) opt imal c hild r e ar ing.
Wit h r e gar d t o t he pr oc r e at ion issue , t he c our t found unpe r suasive t he ar gume nt
r y a
that the Commonwealth could r i g htf ully li mi t mar r i ag e to couples capable of
unplanned pr eg nanci es. I d. at 50a- 6 6 a. I t noted that the ex clusi on of same- sex
couples lef t f ar mor e i nf er ti le couples sti ll able to mar r y those di f f er ent sex
couples who cannot concei v e acci dentally due to ag e or medi cal condi ti ons. I d. at
58a- 6 0a. I t ci ted Ci ty of Clebur ne v . Clebur ne Li v i ng Center , 473, U.S. 432, 450
(1985), f or the pr oposi ti on that such under i nclusi v eness suppor ts the v i ew that a
law was actually moti v ated by pr ej udi ce. I d. at 59a-6 0a.
The cour t of appeals went on to obser v e that the mar r i ag e ban si mply cannot
be def ended as pr omoti ng an i nter est i n r esponsi ble pr ocr eati on. A f ter all,
" [ p] r ohi bi ti ng same- sex couples f r om mar r y i ng and i g nor i ng thei r out- of - state
mar r i ag es does not ser v e V i r g i ni a' s g oal of pr ev enti ng out- of- wedlock bi r ths." I d. at
6 0a. To the contr ar y , si nce many same- sex couples do r ai se chi ldr en, the ban
actually " i ncr ease [ s] the number of chi ldr en r ai sed by unmar r i ed par ents." I d. at
6 1a.
F i nally , tur ni ng to the i ssue of " opti mal chi ldr ear i ng ," the F our th Ci r cui t
r ej ected the ar g ument that mar r i ag e may be banned f or same-sex couples on the
theor y that chi ldr en do better when r ai sed by a mother and a f ather . I d. at 6 3a- 6 6 a.
The cour t ex pr essed g r eat skepti ci sm about thi s asser ti on as a f actual matter , ci ti ng
the consensus of mental health pr of essi onals that chi ldr en of same- sex par ents do
as well as chi ldr en of di f f er ent sex par ents, all other f actor s bei ng equal, and that
bar r i ng equal mar r i ag e r i g hts har ms chi ldr en of same- sex couples by sti g mati zi ng
them and thei r f ami li es. I d. at 6 4a. I t then sai d i t need not r ely on these sci enti f i c
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i n s i g h t s becaus e t h e marri ag e ban s i mply does n ot i n creas e t h e n umber of ch i ldren
bei n g rai s ed by di fferen t s ex paren t s . I t n ei t h er det ers s ame- s ex couples from
h avi n g ch i ldren n or i n creas es t h e n umber of ch i ldren born t o di fferen t s ex couples .
I d. at 65a- 66a. Accordi n g ly t h i s fi n al purport ed s t at e i n t eres t als o was i n s uffi ci en t
t o s at i s fy s t ri ct s crut i n y.
On Aug us t 1 , Appli can t McQui g g appli ed for a s t ay of t h e Fourt h C i rcui t ' s
man dat e. I n oppos i n g t h e s t ay, t h e Harri s C las s Res pon den t s arg ued, i n t er ali a,
t h at t h e clai med g overn men t i n t eres t s i n preven t i n g s ame- s ex couples from
marryi n g an d, accordi n g ly, t h e s uppos ed h arms t h at would befall t h e
C ommon wealt h i n t h e abs en ce of a s t ay were t h e very i n t eres t s t h at t h e Fourt h
C i rcui t h ad con s i dered, an d rej ect ed, i n fi n di n g V i rg i n i a' s marri ag e proh i bi t i on for
s ame- s ex couples t o be un con s t i t ut i on al. On Aug us t 1 3, 201 4, t h e Fourt h C i rcui t
den i ed t h e reques t for a s t ay. See App. C t o t h e St ay Appli cat i on . Appli can t
McQui g g fi led t h i s appli cat i on on Aug us t 1 4, 201 4. See i d. at 1 04a- 1 08a.
ARGUMENT
I . Th e C ourt Sh ould Den y t h e Reques t ed St ay.
McQui g g ' s abi li t y t o s at i s fy even t h e bas i c requi remen t s for a s t ay i s
ques t i on able, an d t h e balan ce of t h e equi t i es cut s s h arply ag ai n s t i s s ui n g on e.
Th ree con di t i on s mus t be met before t h e C ourt i s s ues a s t ay purs uan t t o 28 U.S.C .
21 01 a "reas on able probabi li t y t h at cert i orari wi ll be g ran t ed, " a "s i g n i fi can t
pos s i bi li t y t h at t h e j udg men t below wi ll be revers ed, " an d a "li k eli h ood of
i rreparable h arm (as s umi n g t h e correct n es s of t h e appli can t ' s pos i t i on ) i f t h e
j udg men t i s n ot s t ayed." Barn es v. E- Sys t ems , I n c. Grp. Hos p. Med. &Surg i calln s .
Plan, 501 U.S. 1301, 1302 (1991) (Scalia, J ., in chambers) (cit ing Times Picayune
Publg Corp. v . Schuling kamp, 419 U.S. 1301, 1305 (1974) (Powell, J ., in chambers)).
Howev er, t he t hree condit ions "necessary for issuance of a st ay are not necessarily
sufficient ." Id. at 1304 (emphasis in orig inal). The Court also must "balance t he
equit ies't o explore t he relat iv e harms t o applicant and respondent , as well as t he
int erest s of t he public at larg e," an inquiry t hat requires considerat ion of not only
"t he relat iv e likelihood t hat t he merit s disposit ion one way or t he ot her will produce
irreparable harm, but also [ of] t he relat iv e likelihood t hat t he merit s disposit ion one
way or t he ot her is correct ." Id. at 1305 (quot ing Rost ker v . Goldberg , 448 U.S.
1306, 1308, (1980) (Brennan, J ., in chambers)). "The likelihood t hat denying t he
st ay will permit irreparable harm t o t he applicant may not clearly exceed t he
likelihood t hat g rant ing it will cause irreparable harm t o ot hers." Id.
In applying t hese st andards, t he Court should t ake account of t he fact t hat
since Unit ed St at es v . Windsor, ev ery federal court t o consider t he issue has held
t hat st at es are const it ut ionally barred from denying same- sex couples t he freedom
t o marry or denying recog nit ion t o marriag es ent ered by same- sex couples in ot her
j urisdict ions. See
ht t p~//www.lambdaleg al.org /post- windsor- ruling s (list ing cases).
Thus, cont rary t o Pet it ioner's assert ion t hat t he nat ion needs "t he Court 's g uidance
on t his widely lit ig at ed issue," St ay App. at 10, t he federal court s hav e had lit t le
D
d i f f i c u l t y r e s o l v i n g l i t i g a t i o n o n t he qu e s t i o n pr e s e n t e d wi t ho u t t he n e e d f o r f u r t he r
d i r e c t i o n .2
In s e e ki n g a s t a y , Mc Qu i g g r e l i e s pr i ma r i l y o n t hi s C o u r t ' s g r a n t o f t he s t a y
i n e a r l y Ja n u a r y o f t hi s y e a r i n He r be r t v . Ki t c he n , 134 S. C t . 893 (2014), a t a t i me
whe n o n l y t wo f e d e r a l d i s t r i c t c o u r t s ha d s t r u c k d o wn l a ws pr o hi bi t i n g ma r r i a g e by
s a me - s e x c o u pl e s , a n d t he o v e r a l l c o u r s e o f s u c h l i t i g a t i o n i n t he f e d e r a l c o u r t s
a c r o s s t he c o u n t r y r e ma i n e d l e s s c e r t a i n t ha n i t i s t o d a y . No w, o v e r s e v e n mo n t hs
l a t e r , 17 d i s t r i c t c o u r t r u l i n g s ha v e r e a c he d t he i d e n t i c a l c o n c l u s i o n a s t he d i s t r i c t
c o u r t i n Ki t c he n , a n d t he qu e s t i o n ha s r e a c he d t he C i r c u i t c o u r t s , wi t h t hr e e
d e c i s i o n s f r o m t he Fo u r t h a n d Te n t h C i r c u i t s n o w r e a c hi n g t he s a me c o n c l u s i o n a s
we l l . Se e Bo s t i c v . Sc ha e f e r , No . 14- 1167, _F. 3d _, 2014 WL 3702493 (4t h C i r .
Ju l y 28, 2014), pe t i t i o n f o r c e r t . f i l e d (U. S. Au g . 8, 2014) (No . 14- 153) Bi s ho p v .
Smi t h, No . 14- 5003, _F. 3d _, 2014 WL 3537847 (10t h C i r . Ju l y 18, 2014), pe t i t i o n
f o r c e r t . f i l e d (U. S. Au g . 6, 2014) (No . 14- 136); Ki t c he n v . He r be r t , No . 13- 4178,
F. 3d _, 2014 WL 2868044 (10t h C i r . Ju n e 25, 2014), pe t i t i o n f o r c e r t . f i l e d (U. S.
Au g . 5, 2014) (No . 14- 124). Ac c o r d i n g l y , t he n e e d f o r t hi s C o u r t ' s i n t e r v e n t i o n ha s
d e c l i n e d s u bs t a n t i a l l y s i n c e t he s t a y wa s i s s u e d i n Ki t c he n , a n d , s ho u l d o t he r c o u r t s
o f a ppe a l c o n t i n u e t o f o l l o w t he c u r r e n t c o n s e n s u s , ma y y e t pr o v e u n n e c e s s a r y
a l t o g e t he r .
2 Appl i c a n t ' s a t t e mpt t o c r e a t e t he a ppe a r a n c e o f a c i r c u i t s pl i t by c i t i n g t o 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 f o r Equ a l P r o t e c t i o n v . Br u n i n g , 455 F. 3d 859,
870- 71 (8t h C i r . 2006), s e e St a y App. a t 11, n e g l e c t s t ha t Br u n i n g pr e c e d e d Wi n d s o r
by s e v e r a l y e a r s , a s d o e a c h o f t he s t a t e a ppe l l a t e d e c i s i o n s c i t e d by Mc Qu i g g . Se e
App. a t 11- 12.
X 17
This C o u r t ' s st ays in Kit chen and Her ber t v . Ev ans, No . 14A65, 2014 WL
3557112 (U. S. Ju ly 18, 2014), ar e also dist ing u ishable becau se t hey st ayed dist r ict
co u r t ju dg ment s t hat had no t yet been r ev iewed by t he co u r t o f appeals. In
co nt r ast , t he dist r ict co u r t decisio n in t his case has no w been t ho r o u g hly r ev iewed
o n t he mer it s by t he Fo u r t h C ir cu it , wit h t he benefit o f o r al ar g u ment and
v o lu mino u s br iefing fr o m t he par t ies and su ppo r t ing amid. Gr ant ing Applicant
McQu ig g ' s mo t io n fo r a st ay wo u ld mar k t he fir st t ime t his C o u r t has st ayed a
ju dg ment since Windso r in a case in which bo t h t he dist r ict co u r t and t he co u r t o f
appeals t ho r o u g hly co nsider ed t he issu e and co nclu ded t hat a st at e' s ban o n
allo wing same- sex co u ples t o mar r y o r r eco g niz ing t heir mar r iag es fr o m o t her
ju r isdict io ns v io lat es t he Fo u r t eent h Amendment .
Mo r eo v er , denying a st ay wo u ld impo se no har m o n Applicant McQu ig g o r
anyo ne else. Applicant McQu ig g po int s t o t he sit u at io n in Ut ah, and ar g u es t hat
har m wo u ld r esu lt if same- sex co u ples wer e t o mar r y in t he absence o f a st ay and
t ho se mar r iag es u lt imat ely had t o be u nwo u nd if t his C o u r t r ev er ses t he Fo u r t h
C ir cu it . Bu t t he sit u at io n in t his case is no t analo g o u s t o t he o ne in Ut ah, and t he
C o u r t ' s decisio ns t o g r ant st ays in Her ber t v . Kit chen and Her ber t v . Ev ans sho u ld
no t dict at e t he g r ant o f a st ay her e. The " leg al limbo " in Ut ah has been cau sed by
t he Ut ah Go v er no r and At t o r ney Gener al' s asser t io n t hat t hey can place t hese v alid
mar r iag es " o n ho ld" an asser t io n t hat has been r eject ed by t he lo wer co u r t s u nder
bo t h Ut ah st at e law and t he feder al C o nst it u t io n. Ev ans v . Ut ah, No . 14C V55, _ F.
Su pp. 2d _, 2014 WL 2048343 (D. Ut ah May 19, 2014). The spect acle o f a st at e
11
government seeking to ef f ec tivel y "unmarry " its c itiz ens or to deny l egal rec ognition
to the rights and p rotec tions of married p ersons, whic h was the c ause of the
"c onf usion" in Utah, is not one that there is any reason to b el ieve woul d rec ur here.3
Moreover, even if suc h harm were theoretic al l y p ossib l e, it c oul d onl y oc c ur in
the unl ikel y event that this Court ul timatel y reversed the Fourth Circ uit' s rul ing.
As noted ab ove, in assessing irrep arab l e harm, this Court must c onsider not onl y
"the rel ative l ikel ihood that the merits disp osition one way or the other wil l p roduc e
irrep arab l e harm, b ut al so . . . the rel ative l ikel ihood that the merits disp osition one
way or the other is c orrec t. " Barnes, 501 U. S. at 1305. The aval anc he of dec isions
rul ing f or the p l aintif f s in marriage eq ual ity c ases al so strongl y suggests that, if the
Court were to grant review, it too woul d rul e that the Court' s due p roc ess and eq ual
p rotec tion p rec edents req uire a hol ding that suc h marriage b ans are
unc onstitutional . The Harris Cl ass Resp ondents wil l reserve extended merits
disc ussion f or l ater sub missions rel ating to the Fourth Circ uit' s dec ision inc l uding
their resp onse to the p ending p etition f or c ertiorari f rom the same dec ision f il ed b y
P etitioner Janet Rainey , the V irginia State Registrar of V ital Rec ords. See Rainey
v. Bostic , No. 14-153 ( p etition f or c ertiorari f il ed Aug 8, 2014). However, def enders
of statutes suc h as the ones in V irginia that p rohib it marriage b y same-sex c oup l es
have b een c onsistentl y unab l e to artic ul ate or demonstrate how those l aws serve
3 To the c ontrary , the exp erienc e in Cal if ornia in 2008 where ap p roximatel y
18,000 c oup l es ob tained marriage l ic enses p rior to the enac tment of Cal if ornia' s
P rop osition 8 ( whic h p revented the issuanc e of f urther suc h l ic enses)
demonstrates that, even were P etitioner to p revail , married same-sex c oup l es c an
c oexist in an orderl y f ashion with a l egal regime in whic h a state is not issuing
marriage l ic enses to same-sex c oup l es.
12
any compelling or even rat ional government al purpose. The d ist rict court ' s and
Fourt h C ircuit ' s caref ul consid erat ion and rej ect ion of t hese increasingly
implausible argument s f ollow s t he consensus of every f ed eral court t hat has
examined t hem over t he past year.
Applicant McQuigg has no j ob d ut ies t hat relat e t o t he recognit ion of
marriages t hat have alread y t aken place; her j ob d ut ies relat e solely t o t he issuance
of new marriage licenses. Absent a st ay, she w ould need t o d o no more t han issue a
limit ed number of marriage licenses t o same- sex couples d uring t he int erim period
unt il t he C ourt resolves t he case. And even expand ed t o t he int erest s of t he
C ommonw ealt h of V irginia more generally, McQuigg can d o no more t han point t o
t he generic int erest present in every case w here any law is challenged of seeing
t he st at e' s law s enf orced . See St ay App. at 18. Ind eed , McQuigg' s inabilit y t o point
t o any real and specif ic harm t hat w ould bef all t he C ommonw ealt h f rom allow ing
same- sex couples t o obt ain marriage licenses, or af f ord ing legal recognit ion t o t he
marriages of couples married in ot her st at es, simply reinf orces t he
unconst it ut ionalit y of V irginia' s prohibit ion on such legal recognit ion in t he f irst
inst ance. No int erest s are served , and no harms t o V irginia or it s cit iz ens are
prevent ed , by such law s; t he experience of t he many st at es in w hich same- sex
couples are af f ord ed an equal right t o marry and have t heir marriages recogniz ed
d emonst rat es vivid ly t he complet e absence of any such irreparable harm t o ot hers
arising f rom such recognit ion.
13
At the same time that Applicant McQuigg would suf f er little, if any, har m
without a stay, gr anting a stay would be guar anteed to impose sever e ir r epar able
har m on same- sex couples in the Commonwealth and on their childr en. "The
lik elihood that denying the stay will per mit ir r epar able har m to the applicant may
not clear ly ex ceed the lik elihood that gr anting it will cause ir r epar able har m to
other s. " Bar nes, 501 U. S. at 1305. The cer tif ied class r epr esented by the Har r is
Respondents consists of appr ox imately 14, 000 same- sex couples, who will suf f er
ir r epar able har m if the mandate is stayed. While this case r emains pending in this
Cour t, childr en will be bor n, people will die, and loved ones will f all unex pectedly ill.
The substantive legal pr otections af f or ded by mar r iage can be cr itical, if not lif e -
changing, dur ing such major lif e events and per sonal cr ises. Applicant McQuigg
cavalier ly dismisses the ur gent need f or such legal pr otections as a mer e desir e to
over come a "modest delay in obtaining the Commonwealth's of f icial sanction of
[ r espondents'] r elationships. " Stay App. at 21. But that "modest delay" will cause
ser ious har m to many class member s.4
Mor e gener ally, as the Four th Cir cuit r ecogniz ed, "[ t] he V ir ginia Mar r iage
Laws er ect a bar r ier , which pr events same- sex couples f r om obtaining the
emotional, social, and f inancial benef its that opposite sex couples r ealiz e upon
mar r iage, " App. B to the Stay Application, at 35a- 36 a, and "pr ohibit0 them f r om
4 Indeed, within hour s af ter McQuigg's motion to stay f iled with the Four th Cir cuit
was mentioned in the media, counsel r eceived a communication f r om a member of
the Har r is Class who is str uggling with cancer and who needs the cour t's r uling to
go into ef f ect in or der to benef it f r om the health insur ance of her wif e, a state
employee.
14
p a r t i c i p a t i n g f u l l y i n ou r s oc i e t y , " i d . a t 67a . The s e i r r e p a r a b l e ha r ms a r e v i s i t e d
n ot on l y u p on t he p l a i n t i f f c ou p l e s , b u t u p on t he i r c hi l d r e n a s w e l l . " (B]y
p r e v e n t i n g s a me - s e x c ou p l e s f r om ma r r y i n g , t he V i r g i n i a Ma r r i a g e La w s a c t u a l l y
ha r m t he c hi l d r e n of s a me - s e x c ou p l e s b y s t i g ma t i zi n g t he i r f a mi l i e s a n d r ob b i n g
t he m of t he s t a b i l i t y , e c on omi c s e c u r i t y , a n d t og e t he r n e s s t ha t ma r r i a g e f os t e r s . "
I d . a t 64a .
I n s u m, u n d e r t he t r a d i t i on a l f a c t or s c on s i d e r e d b y t hi s Cou r t , Ap p l i c a n t
Mc Qu i g g 's r e qu e s t f or a s t a y s hou l d b e d e n i e d .
I I . I f t he Cou r t Gr a n t s t he St a y , i t Shou l d Tr e a t t he St a y Ap p l i c a t i on a s a
P e t i t i on f or a Wr i t of Ce r t i or a r i a n d Gr a n t i t .
Whi l e t he Ha r r i s Cl a s s Re s p on d e n t s b e l i e v e t ha t a s t a y i s n ot w a r r a n t e d ,
t he y a c kn ow l e d g e t ha t t he qu e s t i on p r e s e n t e d i s on e of s u b s t a n t i a l i mp or t a n c e , t ha t
t he Cou r t ma y b e l i e v e i t s i n t e r v e n t i on t o b e w a r r a n t e d , a n d t ha t i t ma y c on c l u d e a
s t a y i s a p p r op r i a t e d u r i n g c on s i d e r a t i on of t he c a s e on t he me r i t s . I f s u c h a s t a y i s
g r a n t e d , g i v e n t he on g oi n g ha r ms t o s a me - s e x c ou p l e s i n V i r g i n i a a n d e l s e w he r e , w e
r e s p e c t f u l l y r e qu e s t t ha t t he Cou r t mov e qu i c kl y t o a d d r e s s t he me r i t s . The b e s t
w a y t o d o s o w ou l d b e t o t r e a t t he s t a y a p p l i c a t i on a s a p e t i t i on f or a w r i t of
c e r t i or a r i . Cf . Nke n v . Mu ka s e y , 555 U. S. 1042 (2008) (g r a n t i n g a p p l i c a t i on f or
s t a y , t r e a t i n g a p p l i c a t i on a s a p e t i t i on f or a w r i t of c e r t i or a r i , a n d g r a n t i n g t he
w r i t ).5 I n t ha t e v e n t , t he Ha r r i s Cl a s s r e s p on d e n t s w ou l d u r g e t he Cou r t t o g r a n t
5 Ap p l i c a n t Mc Qu i g g ha s a l r e a d y a n n ou n c e d t ha t s he " i n t e n d s t o f i l e a p e t i t i on f or a
w r i t of c e r t i or a r i w i t h t he Su p r e me Cou r t . " Se e Mot i on of Ap p e l l a n t Mc Qu i g g f or a
St a y of Ma n d a t e P e n d i n g F i l i n g of P e t i t i on f or a Wr i t of Ce r t i or a r i , a t 1, Bos t i c v .
Sc ha e f e r , No. 14- 1167 (4t h Ci r . Au g . 1, 2014), ECF No. 238. She c u r i ou s l y ha s n ot
y e t d on e s o, a l t hou g h he r c ou n s e l a l r e a d y f i l e d a p e t i t i on f or a w r i t of c e r t i or a r i on
15
the p eti ti o n so that the Co urt can set the matter f o r meri ts b ri ef i n g at the earl i est
p racti cal o p p o rtun i ty .
CONCLUSION
The ap p l i cati o n f o r a stay sho ul d b e den i ed. If i t i s g ran ted, the ap p l i cati o n
sho ul d b e treated as a p eti ti o n f o r a wri t o f certi o rari an d revi ew sho ul d b e g ran ted.
Aug ust 6, 2014 rai si n g the same i ssues as tho se p resen ted i n thi s case i n Smi th v.
Bi sho p , No . 14- 136. Mo reo ver, her co un sel di d so a mere n i n eteen day s af ter the
Ten th Ci rcui t' s deci si o n i n Bi sho p v. Smi th, No . 14- 5003, _ F. 3d _, 2014 WL
3537847 (10th Ci r. Jul y 18, 2014). If a stay i s g ran ted, havi n g the stay ap p l i cati o n
treated as a p eti ti o n f o r a wri t o f certi o rari wi l l cause Ap p l i can t McQui g g n o
p rej udi ce, esp eci al l y i f al l p arti es acq ui esce to the g ran ti n g o f certi o rari . To the
co n trary , i t wi l l o b vi ate the n eed f o r Ap p l i can t McQui g g to p rep are an d f i l e a
sep arate p eti ti o n f o r a wri t o f certi o rari , whi ch she al ready has stated that she
i n ten ds to f i l e. Treati n g the stay p eti ti o n as a p eti ti o n f o r a wri t o f certi o rari al so
wi l l f aci l i tate thi s Co urt' s co n si deri n g to g ether, at the Co urt' s n ext co n f eren ce, al l
p eti ti o n s f o r wri ts f o r certi o rari f i l ed reg ardi n g al l cases i n whi ch f ederal co urts o f
ap p eal have i ssued deci si o n s co n cern i n g the co n sti tuti o n al i ty o f l aws b arri n g same-
sex co up l es f ro m marri ag e.
16
August 18, 2014
REBECCA K. GLENBERG
CLAIRE G. GASTANAGA
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
OF VIRGINIA FOUNDATION, INC.
701 E. Franklin Street, Suite 1412
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 644-8080
JaMEs D. ESSExs
JOSHUA A. BLOCK
STEVEN R. SHAPIRO
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION FOUNDATION
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
(212) 549-2500
JON W. DAVIDSON
LAMBDA LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION
Furry, IrrC.
4421 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 280
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 382-7600
Respec ully submitted,
UL M. SMITH
Counsel of Record
LUKE C. PLATZER
MARK P. CABER
JENNER 8t BLOCK LLP
1099 New York Avenue NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 639-6000
psmith@jenner.com
GREGORY R. NEVINS
TARA L. BORELLI
T.AMBDA LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION
Furry, INC.
730 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 897-1880
Counsel for Harris Class Respondents
17
No. 14A196
IN THE
~5ren~te C ~.~~r~ .~f ~~e ~~~i ~.e~~5~~x ~e~
MIC HELE B. MC QUIGG, i n her of f i c i a l c a pa c i ty a s
Pri nc e Wi l l i a m C ounty C l erk of C ourt,
Appl i c a n t
v .
TIMOTHY B. BOSTIC , ET AL.,
Respondents.
C ERTIFIC ATE OF SERVIC E
I, Pa ul M. Smi th, hereby c erti f y tha t I a m a member of the Ba r of thi s C ourt,
a nd tha t I ha v e thi s 18th da y of August, 2014, c a used a c opy of the Response of the
Ha rri s C l a ss Respondents To Appl i c a ti on To Sta y Ma nda te Pendi ng Appea l to be
serv ed v i a ov erni ght ma i l a nd a n el ec troni c v ersi on of the doc ument to be
tra nsmi tted v i a el ec troni c ma i l to~
Byron J. Ba bi one
Al l i a nc e Def endi ng Freedom
15100 N. 90th Street
Sc ottsda l e, AZ 85260
(480) 444-0020
bba bi one@a l l i a nc edef endi ngf reedom.org
C ounsel f or Mi c hel e Mc Qui gg
Stua rt Ra pha el
Trev or Stephen C ox
Of f i c e of the Attorney Genera l
900 Ea st Ma i n Street
Ri c hmond, VA 23219
sra pha el @oa g.sta te.v a .us
tc ox @oa g. sta te.v a . us
C ounsel f or Respondent Ja net M. Ra i ney
Da v i d B. Oa kl ey
Jef f rey F. Brooke
Pool e Ma honey PC
860 Greenbri er C i rc l e, Sui te 401
C hesa pea ke, VA 23320
doa kl ey@pool ema honey.c om
jbrooke@pool ema honey.c om
C ounsel f or Respondent George E.
Sc ha ef er, III
Theodore B. Olson
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
tolson@gibsondunn.com
David Boies
Boies, S chiller & Flexner, LLP
333 Main S treet
Armonk, NY 10504
dboies@bsfllp.com
Counsel for Respondents Timothy Bostic, et al.
Paul M. S mith