Do the Respondents in the SSM Cases Actually Oppose Certiorari?

August 5th, 2014

Utah has officially filed its cert petition, bringing before the Justices the issue for the first time on the merits (unless you count Prop 8). My question–will any of the respondents actually oppose certiorari. In a normal world, the argument would be that there is no Circuit Split, the lower court got it right, and certiorari should be denied.

But this is not the normal world of appellate procedure. Respondents want the Supreme Court to provide a definitive resolution of the issue. And, perhaps more importantly, there will be a race to the lectern for the counsel that gets to argue this landmark case. I can’t imagine, on any set of circumstances, that Ted Olson would actually oppose certiorari here. So maybe they’ll waive their response, or agree that cert should be granted. Who knows?

In related news, the AG of Virginia, who said he would not defend the Virginia law, is now appealing the 4th Circuit’s decision invalidating it to the Supreme Court.

Herring echoed Reyes’s sentiment in his own statement, calling for a quick resolution: “I believe the district and appeals courts ruled correctly in striking down Virginia’s discriminatory marriage ban, but it has long been clear that the Supreme Court will likely have the final word,” he said. “I want that decision to come as soon as possible and I want the voices of Virginians to be heard. This case has moved forward at an incredibly swift pace, and I look forward to a final resolution that affirms the fundamental right of all Virginians to marry.”

I don’t even know anymore. Usually an AG would stop after saying he agrees with the lower courts.