AR Supreme Court Still Weighing Decision on Same-Sex Marriage Ban

LITTLE ROCK, AR – More than one month after hearing oral arguments, the Arkansas Supreme Court is still weighing a decision on the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

A federal court ruled November 25th that Amendment 83 of the Arkansas constitution ran afoul of the federal constitution, but stayed it’s ruling pending an appeal.

Attorney general Dustin McDaniel has indicated he will not decide on an appeal until the state supreme court weighs in on the same legal question.

The deadline to file a notice of appeal to the 8th circuit court of appeals in St. Louis is December 26th.

But Josh Silverstein with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock – Bowen School of Law says there are options.

“It’s not the hard 30-day deadline some may think it is,” Silverstein says. “As long as the state files its intent to appeal by Friday, they still have months to actually submit briefs required in an appeal.”

Meanwhile, Silverstein says the Arkansas Supreme Court is not moving at a slower than normal pace, despite anticipation of a ruling before the end of the year.

“Most of the opinions courts have written in these cases are quite long, the federal court’s opinion was quite long,” Silverstein says. “So this is not a surprising time frame at all. All those opinions have to be drafted, then they have to be circulated. Then they get to respond to each other in their opinions. And then they might be circulated again.”

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