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US: Idaho governor requests 11-judge panel hear appeal against same-sex marriage

Nick Duffy June 2, 2014

The governor of Idaho has requested his appeal against a ruling striking down the state’s marriage ban be heard by an 11-judge panel.

Republican Governor Butch Otter has requested that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hold an ‘en banc’ hearing for the case, as opposed to the usual panel of 3 judges.

The appeals court has already fast-tracked the case, aiming to swiftly hear Otter’s appeal against the decision of judge Candy Dale to strike down a constitutional marriage ban earlier this month.

In the brief, state lawyers argue the ruling “will carry profound legal and broader social consequences for all people within the Ninth Circuit”, adding that ” a decision by an eleven-judge panel stands far higher and stronger than does a decision by a three-judge panel — just as a decision by a three-judge panel stands far higher and stronger than does a decision by a single judge.”

Critics claim that an en banc hearing is more costly than a conventional hearing, and threatens to slow down the appeals process considerably, with a stay preventing marriages beginning until the conclusion of the appeal.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette requested an en banc hearing from the 6th Circuit Court of Appelas last month, but his filing was unanimously rejected by the panel.

(h/t Equality on Trial)

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