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Otter, Wasden file notices of appeal to 9th Circuit in marriage case, Otter brings in new lawyer

Both Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden have now filed notices of appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, to challenge U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale’s ruling overturning Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage. Those brief notices just say they’re appealing to the higher court.

The governor also is bringing in an additional attorney, Monte N. Stewart, the founding president of the Utah-based Marriage Law Foundation and former U.S. Attorney for Nevada; Stewart now is a Boise attorney. Stewart has worked to defend bans on same-sex marriage in at least eight states, including Utah, where he was co-chairman of the group that campaigned for the ballot measure imposing Utah’s now-challenged constitutional ban; several of his writings were cited in Otter’s arguments in the Idaho case.

Also in the past two hours, Dale has issued a judgment, formalizing her decision in the case – allowing legal same-sex marriages to begin Friday morning at 9 – and ordering the clerk of the court to close the case.

Todd Dvorak, spokesman for Wasden, said the Attorney General had been planning to file a motion for a stay of Dale’s order with the district court in Idaho, but said, “That was really short-circuited by the judge’s denial of the governor’s motion. And then she filed a judgment, essentially ending things there.”

Now, he said, Wasden plans to file his motion for a stay of Dale’s ruling with the 9th Circuit before the end of the day today.

Otter issued this statement:

“Judge Dale’s denial of the State’s request for a stay of her decision on same-sex marriage is regrettable in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to stay a similar case, but not surprising. We will appeal to the 9th Circuit Court.” 


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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