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Federal judge reschedules hearing in Cooper-Harris v. USA, a military servicemember’s challenge to Section 3 of DOMA

DOMA trials

By Scottie Thomaston

Update 7:35PM ET: Regarding BLAG’s earlier request in this case to appear at the hearing by telephone (mentioned below), the judge has denied the request. Counsel for BLAG will have to attend the hearing in California in person.

Recently, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), who is defending Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of House Republicans since the Justice Department dropped its defense, asked the judge in Cooper-Harris v. USA if its lawyers could appear at a scheduled December 10 hearing via telephone instead of in person. The hearing was to take place across the country – attorney Paul Clement’s law office is in Washington DC and the court house is in California – so “[t]o conserve litigation resources” BLAG wanted to conduct the hearing over the phone.

In an order, the federal judge resecheduled the hearing:

IN CHAMBER MINUTE ORDER/OFF THE RECORD by Judge Consuelo B. Marshall. The previously scheduled Motion to Exclude the Testimony of Dr. Lawrence J. Korb and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Dennis Laich (doc #55)scheduled for hearing on 12/10/2012 at 11:00 A.M. has been rescheduled. The Motion will now be set for hearing on December 14, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. THERE IS NO PDF DOCUMENT ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ENTRY. (cs) TEXT ONLY ENTRY (Entered: 12/07/2012)

There is no pdf filing for the order. It is text-only.

The hearing in this challenge to Section 3 of DOMA as applied to military spousal benefits takes place after the Supreme Court has decided to hear a constitutional challenge to the Act. It is unclear as of now what effect, if any, the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a DOMA case will have on other challenges currently working their way through the lower courts.

h/t Kathleen, as usual, for this order


  • 1. devon  |  December 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    The republicans will have to spend about $1 million more taxpayer dollars to cover upcoming court appearances defending DOMA.
    I understand that the initial $1.5 million that the republicans appropriated has been spent.

  • 2. _BK_  |  December 11, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Has it even been established that the House's actions are legal? (Also – where exactly did they wind up taking the funds from?)

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