As we reported this past week, Judith Ellen Levy was sworn in on Tuesday as the first openly gay federal judge in the Sixth Circuit. Levy was nominated by President Obama back on July 25, 2013 to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in the seat vacated by Judge Nancy Garlock Edmunds.
On Friday, just three days after Judge Levy sworn in, Judge Bernard A. Friedman of the Eastern District of Michigan entered an order striking down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See Judgment, DeBoer, et al. v. Snyder, et al., Case No. 12-cv-10285 (E.D. Mich.).
Judge Friedman’s decision came down late in the afternoon on Friday. By Friday evening, Michigan’s Governor and Attorney General filed an emergency motion with the Sixth Circuit asking the Court, pursuant to Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, to stay Judge Friedman’s opinion and order pending appeal to the Sixth Circuit. See Emergency Motion (PDF).
The Sixth Circuit acted swiftly in response. On Saturday, the Sixth Circuit directed the plaintiffs to file a response to Michigan’s emergency motion by noon on Tuesday and ordered that Judge Friedman’s judgment be temporarily stayed until Wednesday. See Order, DeBoer, et al. v. Snyder, et al., Case No. 14-1341 (6th Cir.).
As we’ve mentioned, the battle over same-sex marriages has been heating up recently in the Sixth Circuit. DeBoer is yet another appeal that we’ll be following closely because it ultimately could make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.