Citing rulings in a spate of similar lawsuits across the country, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb on Tuesday declined to issue a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage.
But Crabb signaled that she plans to move quickly to decide the case — even if the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin declines her advice to withdraw its motion for a preliminary injunction.
Crabb said the plaintiffs should consider pursuing a “swift, final determination” in U.S. District Court in Madison “rather than litigating the case in multiple stages with no clear benefits to either side.”
Crabb said any preliminary injunction she might approve would be instantly challenged, likely leading to a stay of that injunction.
“Of course, the premise of a preliminary injunction is that relief is needed now and cannot wait until the case is fully litigated,” Crabb wrote. “If a preliminary injunction must be stayed as soon as it is entered, it is not clear what purpose it serves.”
Crabb said if the ACLU doesn’t withdraw its motion for a temporary injunction by March 11, “I will deny the motion ... and the case will proceed to summary judgment on an expedited schedule.”
Lawsuits challenging state bans on gay marriage have proliferated since June when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to married same-sex couples. Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia now allow same-sex marriage.