ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Gay City News | December 18, 2015
A lesbian mother’s quest for joint custody of the children she had adopted in Georgia and raised together with her former same-sex partner, the children’s biological mother, took a step closer to the Supreme Court on December 14, when the high court granted her a stay of an adverse ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court.
V.L. is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a September 18 ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court, which refused to recognize the validity of the adoptions, having filed her petition with the court on November 16.
The Supreme Court justices did not explain their grant of the stay, which is not unusual. However, as Chief Justice John Roberts explained in 2012, in an “in chambers” ruling on such a petition, a stay of a lower court decision while the Supreme Court is deciding whether to grant review is warranted when there is “(1) a reasonable probability that this Court will grant certiorari, (2) a fair prospect that the Court will then reverse the decision below, and (3) a likelihood that irreparable harm will result from the denial of a stay.”
The high court did state that if it denies review in this case, the stay will terminate automatically, while if it grants review, the stay will be in effect as long as the case is pending before it.