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Equality case updates: McLaughlin, Sevcik, Blesch

DOMA trials Sevcik v Sandoval

By Jacob Combs

H/t to Kathleen for posting these in Quick Hits

Yesterday saw a flurry of filings in three of the marriage equality cases currently wending their ways through the court system.  In the military DOMA case McLaughlin v. Panetta, the Department of Justice filed a response to BLAG’s motion to intervene essentially arguing that BLAG should not be allowed to intervene in the cases substantive due process arguments.  As the DOJ writes, because the Executive Branch is still actively enforcing DOMA, “there remains a live case or controversy between Plaintiffs and Defendants.” In addition, the defendants in the case (which are representatives of the federal government) plan to continue filing in such a way that BLAG will be able to argue for the constitutionality of the law.  BLAG also filed an unopposed motion to submit a consolidated reply memorandum supporting their motion to intervene and an accompanying memo supporting their motion.

In the case of Sevcik v. Sandoval, which was filed by Lambda Legal in Nevada and seeks a right to marriage equality in that state, the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage filed a motion to intervene as a defendant in the case.  The Coalition was one of the proponents behind the ballot initiative, Question 2, that put a marriage ban in the Nevada state constitution in 2002.  Because of that, the Coalition argues that it has a stake in the outcome of the case and should be allowed to intervene.  It will be interesting to see how the district court handles this application, which is similar in some ways to other applications for intervention made in the Prop 8 case in California.

Finally, in the DOMA case Blesch v. Holder, filed by Immigration Equality on behalf of several binational couples, BLAG has moved to intervene.  We’ll have links to those documents as they become available!


  • 1. MightyAcorn  |  May 16, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Thanks Kathleen…these would not have made it onto my radar, even with my supersensitive equality news sniffer! You're the bestest.

  • 2. Lymis  |  May 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Anybody know how the funding of BLAG issue is going? Last I heard, the Democrats were saying that these interventions were beyond the scope of what was approved, not to mention far over the approved budget.

  • 3. Fr. Bill  |  May 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Aloha Kathleen…There is a same sex marriage case pending here in Hawaii (Armstrong vs. Abercombie I think) in Federal court. Recently the senior Federal District judge presiding (a Republican appointee) ruled that the Hawaii Family Forum (basically the Roman Catholic diocese and various Evangelicals) could intervene to defend the case given the confusing situation that Governor Abercrombie's AG caused by appointing two teams from his office one to defend and one to oppose the constitutionality of the State's refusing to allow same sex marriage.

    Under the decisions of the 9th Circuit, do private religiously based organizations have any more standing than the average citizen/ I could see an amicus brief but standing to be a party to the litigation? Just wondering.

  • 4. Bronor K  |  May 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Look forward to see the document update. Thanks!<img src=""><img src=""&gt;

  • 5. baila  |  May 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

    anyone have any idea when this case will go to trial or if it already has when a verdict will be handed down

  • 6. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  June 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

    […] May 16, we wrote that BLAG had filed a motion to intervene in the case, to step in and defend DOMA since the Obama administration is no longer defending […]

  • 7. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    […] the Protection of Marriage filed a motion to intervene in the case to defend the marriage law. As we wrote: The Coalition was one of the proponents behind the ballot initiative, Question 2, that put a […]

  • 8. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  September 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

    […] has already been some action in the case, though it is still in the very early stages. As Jacob reported a few days ago: In the case of Sevcik v. Sandoval, which filed by Lambda Legal in Nevada and seeks […]

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