The Supreme Court denied a request by California opposition groups to block same-sex marriages on Sunday.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles petitions from the Western states, issued a brief statement that read: "Justice Kennedy denied the application on his own, without further comment."
ProtectMarriage, a group that co-sponsored Proposition 8, the ballot measure that prevented same-sex marriages from becoming legal in California, and another group, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), filed a motion on Saturday asking the Supreme Court to uphold California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, arguing that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted prematurely on Friday when it lifted the ban.
"The Ninth Circuit's June 28, 2013 Order purporting to dissolve the stay ... is the latest in a long line of judicial irregularities that have unfairly thwarted Petitioners' defense of California's marriage amendment," the application states. "Failing to correct the appellate court's actions threatens to undermine the public's confidence in its legal system."
The Ninth Circuit usually waits 25 days before acting on a case that was recently decided by the Supreme Court. But in a surprise move, a three-judge panel that included liberal jurist Stephen Reinhardt lifted a hold it had placed on a 2010 injunction ordering state officials to stop enforcing the gay marriage ban.
ADF Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks said Saturday that his clients are still due their 22 days to ask the justices to reconsider Wednesday's 5-4 Supreme Court decision not to rule on lower court's overturning of Proposition 8, thereby upholding the lower court's decision that overturned the ban. As a result, Nimocks said the "rule of law" had been "bypassed."
"Our clients have not been given the time they are due and were promised so that they can make their next decision in the legal process," Nimocks said in a statement. "The more than 7 million Californians that voted to enact Proposition 8 deserve nothing short of the full respect and due process our judicial system provides."
Kennedy wrote Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling that required the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages. Kennedy's decision means gay marriages can resume in California.