Federal Judge says she never told clerks to issue same-sex marriage licences. Denies request for a stay

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by David Ade

 MADISON -- State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is now requesting an emergency stay from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. If it's granted, that would bring gay marriages to a halt here in Wisconsin.
 
In the meantime Federal Judge Barbara Crabb has already rejected a similar request from Van Hollen, and she's now clarifying Friday’s historic decision. She told the courtroom today, things will continue on as status-quo until at least next week.
 
For clerks in Milwaukee and Dane counties, they are interpreting status-quo as meaning they can keep issuing licenses, and that's exactly what they are still doing.
 
Crabb is denying the state's motion for a stay because she says she has not yet finished ruling on the case, and she has only decided Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
 
"She [Judge Crabb] didn't order the clerks to issue licenses. So the fact that clerks are issuing licenses isn't because of an order. So she can't stay it." said Lawrence Dupuis, lawyer for the ALCU.
 
Crabb also said until the next hearing on June 19th, things will continue as status-quo.
 
"Until we get an order to the contrary... Status quo means under state law same-sex individuals can get married." said David Gault, Dane County Corporation Counsel.
 
Dane County and Milwaukee County clerks are continuing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
 
Lawyers representing the state refused to speak to the media after the hearing.
 
But in a statement from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, he said
 
"The law is quite clear.  If a judge doesn't order something to occur, then nothing changes.  She found the law to be unconstitutional; however she didn't issue an injunction saying the law isn't in effect.  Which means it remains in effect."
 
Outside the courthouse Monday, Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell says he has no reason to take instructions from Van Hollen.
 
"A judge can tell me what to do. An attorney general cant. But a judge can and if there is something that comes from a judge that tells me to stop, that's exactly what we'll do." said McDonell.
 

Judge Crabb also said in the courtroom Monday that she's anticipating a stay at some point in this case because that's what other federal courts have done. 

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