May 16, 2012
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!