October 7, 2014

From Law 360

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear seven petitions seeking review of lower court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans in five states, preserving decisions that effectively rendered gay marriage legal in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Virginia and Oklahoma. Here, attorneys tell Law360 why the Supreme Court denials are significant.

Sean Gallagher, Polsinelli PC, filed amicus briefs in certain circuit court cases and had this to say about the denials:

“This is one instance in which the high court’s inaction is going to have a major ripple effect. Many of the court decisions addressed today had been stayed pending a decision on certiorari by the Supreme Court. Now that the court has denied certiorari, those stays will presumably be lifted and same-sex marriages can commence. But the ripple effect is going to be even broader than that. Colorado was not one of the states directly affected by the decision today, but the Colorado Supreme Court had stayed implementation of a state court decision invalidating Colorado’s ban, pending a final determination of the two Tenth Circuit cases, Kitchen and Bishop. Now that the court has denied certiorari in those two cases, the Colorado Supreme Court will presumably lift its stay on the state court decisions. The floodgates will now open.”

Sean Gallagher is a member of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice and serves clients nationally from his Denver office.