State officials in South Carolina notified a federal appeals court Monday that they plan to ask the Supreme Court to hear an appeal on the issue of same-sex marriage, in advance of any decision by the appeals court.
Already pending at the Supreme Court are five requests for review — four challenging a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholding same-sex marriage bans in four states, and a fifth challenging a federal trial court ruling upholding the ban in Louisiana.
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The Louisiana petition seeks review by the Justices in advance of any decision in that case by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
After a federal judge struck down the South Carolina prohibition last month, state officials unsuccessfully sought a postponement by the Fourth Circuit. That was rejected on November 18.
In the new filing Monday, the state said that the Supreme Court may move to take up the basic constitutional question in one of the cases already awaiting the Justices’ attention, and they said they planned to file their own petition for review with the Justices.
The Supreme Court may move to a final decision that would apply nationally, the state said, so it would save judicial and legal resources for the Fourth Circuit to put the appeal the state has pending there on hold in the meantime.