Filing separate motions in both the Monroe County and Miami-Dade County cases, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has asked a state appeals court to continue those counties’ stays on marriage ban overturn rulings until the US Supreme Court rules on one of the cases already presented to it.
“Neither this Court nor the Florida Supreme Court can decide this federal issue with finality,” Bondi wrote in a filing late Thursday to the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal. “The United States Supreme Court, however, ‘has the final word on the United States Constitution.’” Bondi told the appeals court she expects the U.S. Supreme Court will act soon on the gay marriage issue. She cited filings this week from the states of Utah and Oklahoma asking their gay-marriage cases be heard by the nation’s highest court. “A ruling from the United States Supreme Court would end the constitutional debate, end this appeal, and end all related cases,” Bondi wrote. “The State of Florida will respect the United States Supreme Court’s final word. In the meantime, this Court should preserve taxpayer and judicial resources by staying briefing until the United States Supreme Court rules.”
Bondi’s motions came in response to a request made by Monroe and Miami-Dade plaintiffs to have their cases joined for presentation to the Florida Supreme Court. Bondi has agreed to the consolidation of the cases, but now wants the state appeals court to just sit on them indefinitely – without ruling and without kicking them upstairs to the state Supreme Court. Neither of yesterday’s filings address the marriage rulings in Broward and Palm Beach counties.