In one of the most cruel and confounding judicial interventions in recent memory, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Wednesday blocked, then cleared, then again blocked Tuesday’s 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that allowed same-sex marriage in Nevada. Justice Kennedy’s orders came just two days after the Supreme Court let stand rulings that authorized same-sex marriage in other states across the country.
The orders came as same-sex couples were lining up across the state to obtain marriage licenses. Justice Kennedy issued his first stay at the request of the state of Idaho. Because Idaho’s gay marriage ban was overturned along with Nevada’s in the 9th Circuit ruling, Justice Kennedy’s order applied to both states. Then he clarified that the order applied only to Idaho. Then the Coalition to Protect Marriage, which backed the same-sex marriage ban approved by Nevada voters more than a decade ago, requested and received a new stay. All within a few hours.
The outcome of this exercise in procedural nonsense isn’t in doubt. Here’s hoping Justice Kennedy’s stay is lifted by the weekend. There is no good reason to deny marriage equality to Nevadans — or anyone else, anywhere — for even one more day.