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House Republicans file Supreme Court petition in Edith Windsor’s DOMA case

DOMA trials

By Scottie Thomaston

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) who is defending Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of House Republicans, has filed its own petition for certiorari in the Windsor case according to a report by Chris Geidner. Until now, House Republicans had only filed one petition in a DOMA case – asking the Court to review the First Circuit decision striking it down. They have consistently opposed review of the other cases.

But the Supreme Court decided to review the Windsor case, taking up the Justice Department’s petition for review and holding all the other petitions; and in doing so, they added a question of whether the Justice Department’s agreement with the Second Circuit that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional means the Court can’t hear the case. In the new filing, BLAG writes that it’s asking for review now in case the Court decides they can’t decide the merits given the Justice Department’s position.

BLAG writes that everyone wants the Court to resolve the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA regardless of their disagreements on the merits.

Briefing in the case is set to begin this month with BLAG’s first brief due January 22, the same day the brief on the jurisdictional and standing issues is due (those will be written by a Court-appointed attorney.)


  • 1. takemusu  |  January 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I'm confused. This is bad, right? Or will this be OK? They should be renamed The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Hunks so we could call them BLAH.

  • 2. u4icmusic  |  January 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    What's bad are the house republicans, all of them, for allowing this to happen.

  • 3. Mark  |  January 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Our tax dollars at work.

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    It's really neither good nor bad. They filed an extra petition because the Supreme Court raised the issue of whether they have jurisdiction to even hear a DOMA case. They think that by filing this petition the Court will be able to definitively decide the case.

    One good thing Kathleen pointed out to me earlier is that since they filed this petition it shows they aren't interested in seeking en banc review at the Second Circuit in the event that the Court can't hear the case because the DOJ agrees with the Second Circuit. If things had played out that way this could have gone into next term.

    But overall there isn't much new. Even with this petition BLAG might not have standing itself. There was no judgment issued against BLAG at the Second Circuit so standing is at least a question.

    But as a sign that all parties want the case resolved this year, it's a good thing.

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