Plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage asked federal Judge Kristine Baker today to vacate her stay of her ruling invalidating the ban, a ruling now on appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Plaintiffs in a similar state lawsuit asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to vacate its stay of Judge Chris Piazza’s may 2014 ruling in the case.
Jack Wagoner, attorney for the plaintiffs, noted that Judge Baker had stayed her ruling in November because the U.S. Supreme Court at that point had stayed a similar ruling in another state. Since then, however, the Supreme Court has refused to grant stays of federal court rulings overturning same-sex marriage bans in other states.
“Since the Court has noted that the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights are being violated on a daily basis, plaintiffs move that the court grant expedited treatment to this motion, waive the standard response time for the defendants to respond and require a shorter response, and promptly rule upon the issue.”
With 37 states and the District of Columbia now permitting same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court no longer granting stays, the state can show no likelihood of success on the merits of its defense of the law, plaintiffs said. Plaintiffs are suffering continuing harm from being denied equal rights, while the state would suffer no harm if the stay was lifted, even if the judge’s ruling was eventually reversed.