Each Supreme Court Justice handles emergency appeals from a certain geographical part of the United States. Virginia is under the jurisdiction of the Chief Justice John Roberts. After a lower court had ruled Virginia’s marriage equality ban to be unconstitutional - and did not delay the enforcement of its ruling - Chief Justice Roberts was petitioned to put a stay on the ruling, which he did on Wednesday.
The move by Roberts is not seen as an indication as to which way the Court would rule in a marriage equality case because:
Chief Justice Roberts made the decision alone;
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama-appointee and proponent of marriage equality, issued a similar stay earlier in the year.
The move was especially painful because the marriages were scheduled to start the next day. Chief Justice Roberts’ action came on a day when friends and loved ones had already gathered to be part of the first weddings. The state of Virginia had followed through and printed updated marriage certificates and added overflow waiting rooms, but it looks as though they won’t be needed. At least not for a few months.
Winograd and Schwartz Attorneys at Law, PC