U.S. Supreme Court

Missing pages and website difficulties delayed SCOTUS news on gay-marriage cert denials

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Reporters looking for news on the gay-marriage cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday had a frustrating morning.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied cert in all the pending gay-marriage cases, letting stand three appeals court rulings that struck down gay-marriage bans in five states. The actions paved the way for gay marriage in those five states and in six others within the appeals courts’ jurisdiction.

But the news was slow in coming, report CNN, the Associated Press, How Appealing and The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

Reporters in the press room scanned the orders list distributed by public information staffers and saw that the gay-marriage cases were not listed in cert denials, leading some reporters to tweet that no action had been taken, according to The BLT. Some reporters left the press room to hear oral arguments, thinking there was no action on the gay-marriage cases, CNN says.

Those who stayed behind realized something was amiss when NBC’s Pete Williams called out that the list went from page 17 to 50, The BLT says. Thirty-three pages were missing.

Reporters looked for the orders list on the Supreme Court’s newly redesigned website, but it wasn’t there. How Appealing complained that the orders list wasn’t available online until more than an hour after it was issued. AP, however, reports that the list was “intermittently available” on the new website.

Public information officers quickly distributed a complete version of the list to reporters. The 33 missing pages–which listed cert denials in the gay-marriage cases–were attributed to a faulty copy machine. And the website had some technical glitches, a court spokeswoman told AP.

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