US: Federal court rejects attempt to appeal against equal marriage in Pennsylvania
An appeals court has rejected a county clerk’s attempt to appeal against same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
Despite the law already being in effect, Schuylkill County clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney had earlier this month sought permission to file an appeal, claiming that she had standing to appeal as the ruling had made the scope of her duties unclear.
As the deadline for any potential appeals has now passed, Santai-Gaffney’s appeal is now the last stand of opponents of marriage equality in the state.
Today, his ruling was upheld by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, who agreed with his judgement that Santai-Gaffney was not eligible to appeal.
The clerk has indicated she intends to take her case to the US Supreme Court, where if her appeal is again rejected, marriage equality in Pennsylvania will be cemented for good.
Her appeal is largely futile, as no stay has been granted, meaning couples are still able to get married, and likely will be able to for the foreseeable future.
In his dismissal last month, Judge Jones wrote: “If the highest elected official in the commonwealth chooses to abide by our decision, it defies credulity that we would permit a single citizen to stand in for him to perfect an appeal.
“There is nothing remotely ambiguous about how Santai-Gaffney must perform her duties relative to issuing marriage licenses.
“At bottom, we have before us a contrived legal argument by a private citizen who seeks to accomplish what the chief executive of the commonwealth, in his wisdom, has declined to do.”
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