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DOMA: Golinski v. OPM, plaintiff files brief in support of Supreme Court hearing her case

DOMA trials Golinski

By Scottie Thomaston

Thanks to Kathleen for these filings

Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management is awaiting both an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (with oral arguments scheduled for September 10) and a decision by the Supreme Court on whether to accept the Justice Department’s petition for certiorari in the case – with that decision expected either right after their September 24 conference or the following week. The district court struck down Section 3 of DOMA and applied a heightened form of judicial scrutiny along the way; it was the first federal court to apply that standard of review.

The Justice Department petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case before judgment – or even oral argument and briefing – at the Ninth Circuit. Now the plaintiff has filed a brief in response to the petition. In the brief, Golinski agrees that the Supreme Court should take the case. The brief says that this case “does not present any legal issue that might impede this Court from determining whether Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional” because the only issue before the Court is the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA.

The brief says that since the district court considered the scrutiny issue after a trial and determined that heightened scrutiny applies, it presents an appropriate vehicle to decide that question. They write:

The district court carefully considered expert testimony and precedent establishing the long history of invidious discrimination against lesbians and gay men, the lack of relevance of a person’s sexual orientation to the ability to contribute to society, and—although of less weight in determining the applicable level of scrutiny—the ways in which sexual orientation is a core, defining, and immutable trait, as well as the political vulnerability of the lesbian and gay minority in our country. The district court’s factual findings, framing of the analysis, and thorough consideration of this initial question make this a particularly appropriate case in which to consider the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA.

So the DOJ and now Golinski herself has asked the Supreme Court to review her case.


  • 1. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm


  • 2. Seth from Maryland  |  July 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Billionaire GOP Donor Paul Singer Donates $150,000 to Maine Marriage Equality Efforts
    Singer's $150,000 donation to the Freedom to Marry PAC was noted in Monday's story about Republican politicians who have decided to join the effort to legalize same-sex effort in Maine. However, the billionaire hedge fund manager's involvement in the Maine effort is noteworthy for a few reasons.
    Singer is perhaps best known for his support of Republican candidates. A recent New York Times story noted that Singer, who runs the firm Elliott Management in New York City, raised $5 million dollars for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during a single fundraiser

  • 3. Seth from Maryland  |  July 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    But Singer, whose son and son-in-law are gay, is also known for supporting same-sex marriage efforts in other states and he has spent close to $10 million to advance the cause. Singer has given $1 million to the American Unity PAC, a new super PAC designed to encourage Republican candidates to support same-sex marriage. Campaign finance laws also shields the identities of donors to the PAC.

    Earlier today, I noted the formation of Republicans United for Marriage, a new GOP group consisting of 20 Maine lawmakers who support marriage equality.

    Read more:

  • 4. devon  |  July 25, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Mr. Singer's $5 million pledge to Romney shows his true colors IMHO.
    While its noteworthy that Mr. Singer has donated some of his many political dollars to equality PAC's, the majority of his cash seems to have gone to the virulently anti-gay Romney.

  • 5. Seth from Maryland  |  July 25, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Marriage Equality Coming to Scotland, Ministers Announce
    After a massive response to a consultation on the issue, political leaders in Scotland have announced the framework for legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage there and say they will build in religious protections, the BBC reports:
    Scottish ministers confirmed they would bring forward a bill on the issue. Political leaders, equality groups welcomed the move, but it has been strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland…
    Same-sex couples in Scotland currently have the option to enter into civil partnerships and the Holyrood government has insisted no part of the religious community would be forced to hold same-sex weddings in churches.
    The Scottish government said; it would work with UK ministers to amend equality laws, to ensure those views were protected, and a bill would be brought forward to the Scottish Parliament to bring in the change.

  • 6. Seth from Maryland  |  July 25, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Said Scotland's deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon: "We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships – we believe that this is the right thing to do. We are also mindful of the fact that the leaders of all of the other parties represented in parliament support same sex marriage and that there is significant parliamentary support for legislation. The Scottish government has already made clear that no religious body will be compelled to conduct same sex marriages and we reiterate that today. Such protection is provided for under existing equality laws.

    Read more:

  • 7. David Henderson  |  July 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

    How is $5 million a "majority" of the $15 million that he's reportedly spent? Looks like it's about 1/3, really.

  • 8. Mark B.  |  July 25, 2012 at 11:20 am

    <img src=""/>I'm kind of confused by their statement, can anybody translate that for me? <img src=""/&gt;

  • 9. Mike in Baltimore  |  July 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Who is 'their'?

    The BBC?

    The Scottish government?

    The Catholic Church?

    The Church of Scotland?

    Someone else?

    After it is determined who you mean by 'their', then we can try to discuss and explain the statement someone made.

  • 10. Critical Mass Progress | &hellip  |  August 7, 2012 at 8:22 am

    […] case until the Supreme Court decides whether to take it. Then, Lambda Legal filed its reply brief, agreeing that the Court should hear the case. Since both the DOJ and Lambda Legal want the Court to take the […]

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