Late yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy responded to a request from the National Organization for Marriage to block the federal court ruling that brought marriage equality to Oregon -- and halt further same-gender weddings in the process -- until the group can appeal an earlier court decision that prevented it from intervening in defense of the Beaver State's marriage ban.
Kennedy says he wants more information from the parties involved before he makes a decision.
Via the Oregonian:
Kennedy asked for briefs to be filed by 1 p.m. Monday from the parties in the two lawsuits that led to U.S. District Judge Michael McShane's May 19 ruling that allowed gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon.
Kennedy, who hears emergency appeals from the region that includes Oregon, could issue a ruling on NOM's motion on its own or pass the issue on to the full court.
At a minimum, Kennedy's action means that he wants more information on the case before he makes a decision. But it's hard to know whether NOM has a strong shot for its argument that the Supreme Court should get involved in the Oregon case because of its unusual nature.
NOM is already crowing that Kennedy's request is "a very good sign" that they will prevail, but it's more likely that Kennedy isn't sending some kind of a signal, but merely being thorough. After all, as ACLU of Oregon executive director David Fidanque notes, NOM (conveniently) left out of its brief Judge McShane's explanation of why he denied the out-of-state group standing to appeal an Oregon ballot measure in the first place.
Stay tuned, folks...