Although it's hardly a surprise to many court watchers, it looks like a legal challenge to Utah's same-sex marriage law will go to the Supreme Court for consideration, after the state announced its intention to appeal to the high court. While the Supreme Court will still have to decide whether it's taking the case or not, the move brings us one official step closer to possibly seeing a Supreme Court decision on states' same-sex marriage bans by this time next year.
According to your neighborhood experts at SCOTUSBlog, here's the likely scenario for the Supreme Court's consideration of this case:
Corrected: SCOTUS will act on the Utah #ssm petition by late-2014, likely grant it, hear argument in March 2015, and rule (5-4) in June 2015— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 9, 2014
As the Associated Press notes, it's also possible that the Court could wait for another appeals court to rule on the issue. At least one such opinion, on Virginia's same-sex marriage ban, is expected soon.
statement he obtained from the Utah Attorney General's office:
To obtain clarity and resolution from the highest court, the Utah Attorney General's office will not seek en banc review of the Kitchen v. Herbert Tenth Circuit decision, but will file a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court in the coming weeks. Attorney General Reyes has a sworn duty to defend the laws of our state. Utah's Constitutional Amendment 3 is presumed to be constitutional unless the highest court deems otherwise.
"En banc," in case you were wondering, refers to another option before the state: it could have asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear its case with an entire bench of judges, instead of the three-judge panel that heard the case the first time around. It's not that common for courts to grant these reviews.