Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an emergency motion to keep the state's same-sex marriage ban in place Monday, jeopardizing the prospect of such unions becoming legal Jan. 6.
Because, obviously, there are no better ways to spend Floridians' tax dollars; might as well piss it away on things like continuing to limit individual freedoms of people you disagree with.
We can't say we didn't see this coming, though, because this is classic Pam.
Since Dec. 3, fans of basic decency have been cautiously optimistic in the wake of a judge's decision to end a delay in same-sex unions in anticipation of possible appeals to reverse a lower court judge's decision declaring such unions unconstitutional. The delay to wait for appeals currently stands until January 5, but the News Service of Florida said the Pamster wants the court to keep the delay in place "until Florida's appeals run out or until the justices rule in similar cases" in order to "avoid confusion" and inconsistency among counties. I bet.
From the News Service's report:
In the 70-page filing, Bondi's lawyers wrote that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' denial of an extension Dec. 3 "has created statewide confusion" and that lifting the stay could lead to county clerks throughout the state issuing marriage licenses to gay couples although only one Florida county —- Washington —- was a party to the federal lawsuit.
"The constitutional issue is a serious one, and it deserves appellate review before the injunctions (against the gay-marriage ban) should become effective," Florida Solicitor General Allen Winsor wrote.
A series of federal appeals-court decisions have struck down similar gay-marriage bans in other states, and the U.S. Supreme Court in October declined to take up the issue. But, as she did when she asked the 11th Circuit for an extension of the stay, Bondi pointed to a decision in November by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The conflicting appellate rulings indicate that the Supreme Court is more likely to take up the issue now, Bondi's lawyers wrote in Monday's filing.
You will hear me say this a few times a week: This is why we can't have nice things.
The Tampa Bay Times' Anna Phillips reports there's a solid chance Bondi's efforts will fall flat:
Her request will land on the desk of one of the court's most conservative members — Justice Clarence Thomas, who is responsible for overseeing federal courts in Florida. He could rule on her request for a stay (in which case, the full court could reverse his decision) or he could refer the matter to the entire court.
In recent months, Kansas and South Carolina have asked the Supreme Court to block same-sex marriages, with no success. In cases where states did win a temporary stay, the full court ultimately denied them.
So, we've got that goin'.