The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has put its decision overturning same-sex marriage bans in Indiana on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decides what it will do with the cases.
The stay was issued Monday morning. Indiana’s case was consolidated with one from Wisconsin for the purposes of the 7th Circuit issuing a decision, though the stay does not affect Wisconsin, as previously reported.
If the Supreme Court takes up the cases, Indiana’s stay would remain in effect until a final decision is rendered. If the higher court does not accept the cases, the stay would be lifted and same-sex couples will be allowed to marry.
No decision has been made on staying the appellate court’s decision as it pertains to Wisconsin. Once the court makes a decision, though, it will give a definitive answer on whether county clerks in Wisconsin will be allowed to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The 7th Circuit’s decision, authored by Judge Richard Posner, was notable for its focus on equal protection arguments. Other federal courts have struck down similar same-sex marriage bans by ruling that the laws violate an individual’s due process rights.
That court’s decision was proceeded by Western District of Wisconsin Senior Judge Barbara Crabb’s ruling in June, which focused on both due process and equal protection. Following Crabb’s ruling, county clerks clerks issued licenses for a week, but Crabb then stayed her order.
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering three petitions for review regarding same-sex marriage decisions. The court is set to reconvene in October. Follow @eheisigWLJ