Despite the fact the stay has not yet been lifted, Hood’s letter from Monday continued, “Obergefell is the law of the land. If a clerk has issued or decides to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple, there will be no adverse action taken by the Attorney General against that circuit clerk on behalf of the State.”
However, if a clerk refuses to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, Hood stated in the letter, the clerk could be sued.
In an attempt to expedite the issuance of licenses on Friday, attorneys for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed a motion for the immediate lifting of the stay, which Gov. Phil Bryant opposed, according to a letter from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sent to the attorneys in the case on Monday.
Both sides must now submit additional filings by July 1 to the court. Gov. Bryant must submit his reasons for opposing the motion, and attorneys must state “whether there is any reason why this matter should be returned to the district court or whether, instead, the final rendering can and should be made by this court.”
It is not clear whether Gov. Bryant’s opposition will have any bearing on clerks continuing to issue licenses.
Bryant’s spokeswoman Nicole Webb said Bryant is reviewing his options before responding to the plaintiffs’ motion.