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Lambda Legal Files Brief Supporting Supreme Court Review in Golinski

Lambda Legal and Karen Golinski file a brief with the Supreme Court supporting the Justice Department’s argument that the high court should hear the case before it is decided in the Ninth Circuit.  Golinski’s brief points out that the case presents only the question of the constitutionality of DOMA’s Section 3 and no other issue, making it an ideal candidate for Supreme Court review.

Golinski and Lambda Legal also argue in their brief that the Golinski case offers the Supreme Court an opportunity to determine the correct level of constitutional scrutiny to apply to laws like DOMA that affect gays and lesbians.  In their brief, 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.”

Pointing to the fact that the Ninth Circuit, which is hearing the Golinski case, is the largest circuit court in the country, Lambda Legal argues that “there are countless other married same-sex couples awaiting a final determination in Ms. Golinski’s case,” making it an important one for the Supreme Court to consider as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the circuit court to issue a ruling.

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