Arkansas suggests that Obergefell moots this case. But the Supreme Court specifically stated that “the State laws challenged by Petitioners in these cases are now held invalid.” Id. at 2605 (emphasis added). Cf. United States v. Nat’l Treasury Emps. Union, 513 U.S. 454, 477-78 (1995) (limiting relief to the parties before the Court and noting “we neither want nor need to provide relief to nonparties when a narrower remedy will fully protect the litigants”). The Court invalidated laws in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee — not Arkansas.
Arkansas’s general assurances of compliance with Obergefell also do not moot the case. See Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Envtl. Servs. (TOC), Inc., 528 U.S. 167, 190 (2000) (“[A] defendant claiming that its voluntary compliance moots a case bears the formidable burden of showing that it is absolutely clear the allegedly wrongful behavior could not reasonably be expected to recur.”). These assurances may, however, impact the necessity of continued injunctive relief. The district court is better positioned to consider the issue on appropriate motion. See United States v. Bailey, 571 F.3d 791, 804 (8th Cir. 2009) (noting this court reviews permanent injunctions for abuse of discretion, reversing when the injunction is based on “a legal error or a clearly erroneous finding of fact”).
The judgment is affirmed. Arkansas’s motion to vacate the district court’s order is denied.