Tenth Circuit grants time extension as ACLU files lawsuit challenging Utah’s non-recognition of marriages
January 21, 2014
Two big pieces of news today out of Utah pertaining to the Kitchen v. Herbert case, which last month briefly brought marriage equality to the state after a federal judge invalidated Amendment 3, Utah’s equal marriage ban.
First off, the Tenth Circuit today granted a request filed by the state of Utah seeking a time extension in the expedited briefing schedule that had previously been provided by the appellate court. Originally, the Tenth Circuit had ordered briefing in the appeal of Judge Shelby’s decision in Kitchen to be completed by February 25, but Utah officials asked for a 10-day stay in light of the very recent appointment of a new attorney general and a search for outside counsel conducted by the state.
Although the Tenth Circuit said in its original briefing order that requests for delay were “very strongly discouraged,” the circuit court today granted Utah’s request in part, allowing an extension of seven days. This means that the opening brief will now be due February 3, the response brief will be due February 25, and any reply brief will be due March 4. It is possible that the Tenth Circuit will consider oral arguments in the case during its March 17-21 sitting.
Also today, the ACLU of Utah and the national ACLU filed a new lawsuit under the name Evans v. Utah seeking a court order instructing Utah to recognize as valid the marriages same-sex couples entered into between the time of Judge Shelby’s ruling and the Supreme Court order staying its effect. The Evans plaintiffs are four same-sex couples who wed in Utah during that period between December 20 and January 6 and whose marriages are now currently ‘on hold’ under orders from Gov. Gary Herbert as the Kitchen appeal proceeds.
“The moment Plaintiffs solemnized their marriages in accordance with Utah law,” the plaintiffs write in their complaint, “they immediately obtained vested rights in the validity and recognition of their marriages under Utah law. Those vested rights are protected by the Due Process Clauses of the Utah and United States Constitutions and must be recognized regardless of the ultimate outcome of the Kitchen litigation.”
In its complaint, the ACLU seeks a court order both recognizing the validity of the plaintiffs’ marriages as well as a judgment stating that “the reimplementation of Amendment 3, the Marriage Limitation Statue, the Marriage Recognition Statute, and any other statute preventing same sex couples from marrying does not retroactively strip recognition from the marriages by same-sex couples entered into pursuant to Utah marriage licenses issued between December 20, 2013 and January 6, 2014.”
You can read the full complaint below via Scribd, courtesy of Equality Case Files and Kathleen.
For more information on Kitchen v. Herbert from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.
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