(Washington, D.C., October 10, 2024)—Today, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected a request by State of Idaho officials to put on hold the federal appeals court decision that struck down as unconstitutional Idaho’s laws prohibiting marriage by same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court’s decision allows the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to enter an order allowing its October 7th decision in the Idaho case to go into effect. Upon entry of such an order by the Ninth Circuit, the State of Idaho would be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.

On October 7th, the Ninth Circuit ruled 3-0 that Idaho’s ban on the freedom to marry for same-sex couples violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. Later that day, the Ninth Circuit ordered that its decision take effect immediately, which would have required Idaho to begin issuing marriage licenses the following morning.

On October 8th, United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy temporarily stayed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in response to a request by State of Idaho officials to keep that decision from taking effect while the state officials either ask for further review of the case by a larger panel of Ninth Circuit judges or ask the Supreme Court to review the case. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court rejected that request and cleared the way for the Ninth Circuit to enter an order allowing its decision to take effect.

The four couples who successfully challenged Idaho’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples in the Ninth Circuit are represented by Boise attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham of Ferguson Durham, PLLC, Deanne Maynard and Marc Hearron of the law firm of Morrison & Foerster, LLP, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Statement by Shannon P. Minter, NCLR Legal Director:

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court confirms that there is no good reason to further delay allowing all Idaho families to enjoy the dignity, security, and protection that marriage provides. We hope that the Ninth Circuit will act quickly to make its decision effective so that all Idahoans will have the freedom to marry as soon as possible.”

Learn more about the case.