U.S. Supreme Court

US Supreme Court allows Kansas same-sex marriages to proceed; two justices dissent

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The U.S. Supreme Court has lifted a temporary stay and allowed same-sex marriages to proceed in Kansas.

The court acted Wednesday night, the New York Times, the Washington Post and SCOTUSblog report. The order vacates a stay issued Monday evening by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would have granted the stay application, according to the order (PDF), which did not give a reason why.

Kansas had contended its case was different than others in which the Supreme Court denied cert. The Kansas Supreme Court had stayed same-sex marriage in the state pending proceedings before the court, but a federal judge later ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses. The federal judge’s decision was “a de facto circumvention” of the state litigation, the state argued in its emergency stay application (PDF).

The stay application had also cited a circuit split that developed last week when the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld laws banning same-sex marriage.

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