Monday, December 23, 2013

Hero of the Day 2013-12-23 (Updated)

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby (43) had been on the bench just six months when he was assigned Kitchen v. Herbert in March.

Shelby’s decision in the case Friday made same-sex marriage legal in Utah by finding the state same-sex marriage ban (that was voted into the state constitution by 66% of Utahns in 2004) is unconstitutional.

Shelby graduated from Utah State University in 1994 and the University of Virginia School of Law in 1998. He is married to his college sweetheart and has two children.

Before becoming a judge Shelby was a law clerk for U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene and spent eight years in the Utah Army National Guard. He worked at the Salt Lake City law firms of Snow, Christensen & Martineau and Burbidge Mitchell & Gross. He was nominated to the federal bench by President Barack Obama in November 2011 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 22, 2012. 

Today Shelby denied the state's governors motion to stay the decision. 
We can expect the Utah governor to appeal the decision to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, they have done so twice already in anticipation of this ruling and have been kicked out of the appeals court both times.

UPDATE 2013-12-24
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the state's request for an emergency stay on Judge Richard Shelby's ruling. The appeals court said in its short ruling that a decision to put gay marriage on hold was not warranted, but said it put the case on the fast track for a full appeal of the ruling.

The denial means that Judge Robert Shelby's ruling to strike down Utah’s ban on same-sex couples marrying will remain in place during the appeal of the case, if it is not struck down by a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court to which Utah officials could appeal. Interim requests of the type that would be filed in this situation would go to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees such requests from the 10th Circuit. She could either decide the matter on her own or refer the matter to the whole court for consideration.

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