TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey’s highest court has agreed to hear a case on whether gay marriage should be legal in the state.
The state Supreme Court accepted the case Friday, skipping the normal course of letting an appeals court hear it first.
A lower-court judge ruled last month that the state must legalize same-sex marriage starting Oct. 21.
The top court is also considering whether to delay implementation of the lower-court ruling until it has ruled on the overall case. Arguments are set for January.
The announcement from the state Supreme Court came hours after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration argued a single judge shouldn’t be able to force the state to recognize gay marriage.
That was one of the arguments in legal papers filed Friday by the state in support of its effort to delay implementation of a judge’s order last month.
The brief for an appeals court came a day after Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson turned down New Jersey’s request to delay the effective date of her order while the state Supreme Court decides whether she was right.