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House Republicans appeal Gill/Massachusetts DOMA case to Supreme Court

DOMA trials Gill/Massachusetts

By Scottie Thomaston

Earlier this month, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) who is defending DOMA in court challenges, noted in a filing that they would be petitioning the Supreme Court for certiorari, or review, by the end of the month. Today BLAG filed its petition. A petition for certiorari is the first attempt to frame the issues the Supreme Court will decide. Petitions have a list of “Questions Presented” that the Supreme Court may or may not decide to hear. (The Supreme Court can also add its own question(s) and possibly ask for briefing on any additional issues.) The questions presented here are:

(1) Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment; and

(2) Whether the court below erred by inventing and applying to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act a previously unknown standard of equal protection review

The “previously unknown” standard of review the petition cites refers to the First Circuit’s rational basis review that included both a more searching form of review that regarded laws which might be based on animus toward a particular group as suspicious, as well as a stronger focus on DOMA’s impact on federalism.

The petitioners ask the Court to take the case because:

As the First Circuit recognized, this case calls out for this Court’s review. The court of appeals has invalidated a duly-enacted Act of Congress and done so even though it acknowledged both that DOMA satisfies ordinary rational basis review and does not implicate heightened scrutiny. In the establishedworld of equal protection law that result should have been impossible.

The petition also suggests that the issue of separation of powers should lead the Court to grant cert:

Separation of powers considerations strongly counsel in favor of this Court’s review. The executive branch has not only abdicated its traditional role of defending the constitutionality of duly-enacted statutes, but has simultaneously announced that it will continue to enforce DOMA. App. 127a. As a result, the House has been forced into the position of defending numerous lawsuits challenging DOMA across the Nation. That is a role for which the Justice Department—not the House—is institutionally designed.

Only this Court can settle this matter definitively. Unless and until this Court decides thequestion, the executive branch will continue toattack DOMA in the courts, while continuing to enforce it, thus creating more potential litigation for the House to defend.

The petitioners once again invoke Baker v. Nelson, the 1972 case in which the Supreme Court summarily dismissed “for want of a substantial federal question” a challenge alleging that the Equal Protection Clause requires same-sex marriage. They claim that case conflicts with the First Circuit’s overturning of DOMA.

A response to the petition by the respondents (the plaintiffs at the First Circuit) is due within 30 days.

Thanks to Kathleen for this filing, via Scribd:

[scribd id=98691032 key=key-g3g9wgio76n3gwnynph mode=list]

GLAD (the attorneys for the plaintiffs) has issued a press release:

Congressional Leadership Seeks Supreme Court Review of GLAD’s DOMA Case

Gill Case Could be Decided in 2012-2013 SCOTUS Term

Congressional leadership in the form of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) today filed a petition for certiorari in the case Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The petition is in response to a unanimous May 31st ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional with respect to claims brought by seven married same-sex couples and three widowers from Massachusetts. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) represents the plaintiffs.

Mary Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director and lead attorney in the case, said, “We will look closely at the petition and will consider our options. We remain convinced that our clients deserve to be treated equally under the law and have their marriages respected by their government. Two federal courts have agreed with us so far.”

GLAD filed Gill v. Office of Personnel Management on March 3, 2009. Prior to the appellate court decision, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro found DOMA unconstitutional on July 8, 2010.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.


  • 1. Scott Wooledge  |  June 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Boo-yay! Let's put a stake in DOMA once and for all!

  • 2. Matt  |  June 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    BLAG is obviously concerned about their resources being stretched thin. If any more DOMA cases are brought forward it will probably break the bank, and Boehner will have to waste another million bucks to pay for the defense.

  • 3. Str8Grandmother  |  June 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Fasten your seat belts folks!! This is what we wanted, DOMA First before Prop 8. To the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Yes this is the Rational Basis with Bite ruling. We have to do this we have no other choice. What should we do simply live with DOMA because we fear a contrary ruling? That is not a choice, it is living in purgatory. Our side made a hell of a good case in Gill and I feel confident it will be affirmed.

  • 4. Bob  |  June 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    fasten your seat belts is right,,,,, way to go you guys,,,,,, strike DOMA down!!!!!!

    and congratulations for joining the civilized world in terms of health care ,, huge achievement,,, so happy to think of you all being protected,,,,,,, finally,,,,, it's time

    and watching from Canada,, I think it's time to re-define terrorism,,, greedy money hungry capitalists are making the move on your country,,,,,,,, call it for what it is,,,,

    forget LGBT equality,,, it won't matter if Romney buys the country,,,,,,,,,

  • 5. New  |  June 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm


  • 6. Steve  |  June 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    BLAG is lying through its teeth there. The review standard is obviously not new. SCOTUS has used it itself. Second, because the law fails rational basis, they didn't need to consider whether strict scrutiny applies.

  • 7. Bill S.  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I thought the exact same thing myself…since when is rational basis with bite new?? Is it that this is the first time a court said flat-out we're using rational basis with bite?

  • 8. Str8Grandmother  |  June 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Lawrence stuck down Bowers vs Hardwick and Gill will bring down that nasty Baker vs Nelson. Then let 'er rip.

  • 9. Bill S.  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Gill v. OPM does not answer the same constitutional question as Baker v. Nelson. Baker v. Nelson concerned a federal constitutional right to marry. The plaintiffs in Gill are already married and seek recognition by the federal government of their already existing marriages.

  • 10. Steve  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Exactly. Two very different thing. BLAG is just stupid to bring up Baker again and again. Moreover, the very existence of DOMA means that there is a federal question now

  • 11. Mike in Baltimore  |  July 1, 2012 at 2:50 am

    When the PPACA was passed, the Democratic leadership were EXTREMELY loud and clear that it was NOT A TAX, but a penalty under the Commerce Clause.

    When SCOTUS decided the fate of the PPACA, they very clearly decided that it WAS a tax, not covered by the Commerce clause, but that the Constitution gave Congress very wide latitude on taxes, and thus the PPACA was not unConstitutional.

    Thus, SCOTUS can decide to include or exclude Baker, based on whether they want to or not.

  • 12. Deeelaaach  |  July 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    News coverage where I live (SF Bay Area) indicated that the Obama legal team actually covered that in arguments. They argued that if it wasn't constitutional by the commerce clause, that it was constitutional as a tax. SCOTUS did not include this just because they wanted to – they used an argument made by the Obama legal team – or whomever it was that was doing the arguing. I didn't follow this one much, but this was the legal analysis of the new station I watch (NBC 11).

  • 13. Mike in Baltimore  |  July 2, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I was describing the way it was described BEFORE any SCOTUS action.

    Just one example:
    "Obama in 2009: The Individual Mandate Is Not a Tax"

  • 14. Sagesse  |  June 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Baker is Supreme Court precedent (for obscure procedural reasons, but still precedent). Even though everyone knows that it has been overtaken by events, until the Supreme Court says it's not precedent, it will still be invoked, and lower courts are bound to consider it. It does not apply to DOMA because DOMA is not about the right to marry, it is about married people. The court could overturn Baker when deciding DOMA, but they don't have to. They could just point out it's irrelevant. They will have to deal with it the first time they consider a 'right to marry' case.

  • 15. Str8Grandmother  |  June 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    The court could overturn Baker when deciding DOMA, but they don't have to.

    But they sure did bring up Baker a lot in this appeal though didn't they? I'll look at it again closer tomorrow to see if I can find a way where Baker has a better than 50/50 chance if being kicked to the curb.

    I got to go read it again looking for where they are bringing up Baker. My first instinct though in my first read through was that this may be the case where the SCOTUS will dump Baker.

  • 16. Mike in Baltimore  |  July 1, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Actually, SCOTUS decided in Baker that there was no Federal question. In fact, the dismissal was one sentence long:
    "The appeal is dismissed for want of a substantial federal question."

    The question was NOT whether there was a Federal right to marry, but whether there was a 'substantial federal question'.

    The Baker decision was handed down on October 10, 1972. DOMA was enacted on September 21, 1996 (almost 24 years after Baker). DOMA is a Federal law, and the plaintiffs are saying that there is a substantial Federal question, as DOMA prevents Federal recognition, not of the right to marry, but of certain rights other married couples receive from the government, but DOMA prevents a few people from receiving those same benefits.

    So whether you want to admit it or not, there IS a huge and substantial Federal question in the Gill case.

  • 17. Str8Grandmother  |  July 1, 2012 at 6:59 am

    That's good Mike, good way to explain it. "For want of a substantial Federal Question"
    I get it, the Federal Government does not issue marriage licenses, therefor there was no Federal Question for the Court to look at. But now that we do have Same Gender Civil Marriage and because of DOMA there is now (and there wasn't in 1972) a Federal Question because of what DOMA does. Thx, I am really interested in learning about Baker vs Nelson and how that affects Civil Rights for Sexual Minorities.

  • 18. Str8Grandmother  |  June 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    How long until we know if they will give Cert? Which I am sure they will.

    Yes and the poor poor Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, these DOMA Cases are popping up like Whack-A-Mole they are exhausted, "Please please take the case so we can get a rest already, we are exhausted from all this work."

  • 19. Carpool Cookie  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    these DOMA Cases are popping up like Whack-A-Mole they are exhausted, "Please please take the case so we can get a rest already, we are exhausted from all this work."

    Sorry….no rest for the wicked.

  • 20. Bill S.  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    They'll grant cert. in October most likely. They will grant cert. It is pretty much indisputable. This case is exactly the kind of case the Supreme Court takes.

  • 21. Straight Dave  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    "the House has been forced into the position of defending… "

    Ummmm, isn't this something BLAG voluntarily took on, by a partisan 3-2 vote? Now they're whining about the implications of their own vote? Gimme a break. Nobody held a gun to their head. In fact, cooler heads (read Dems) counseled against it.

    And if the House hadn't passed DOMA in the first place, there'd be nothing for them to defend. You have met the enemy, and they are you (apologies to Pogo and Navy Cpt. Oliver Hazard Perry).

    Sheesh. What balls!!

  • 22. Steve  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Also. this is hardly the first time an administration has refused to defend a law. The Bush one did a couple of times I think

  • 23. Straight Dave  |  June 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    As did Clinton, Bush Sr,and Reagan. Nothing new here at all. They all just claim they are upholding the Constitution, and for the most part, that generally is the case.

  • 24. Mike in Baltimore  |  June 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    And shrub defended and enforced a law that SCOTUS determined was unConstitutional (the one dealing with guns near schools).

  • 25. MightyAcorn  |  July 1, 2012 at 8:28 am

    But…unless BLAG had chosen to appeal, the Supremes wouldn't be hearing the case. So, for better or worse, BLAG is the reason SCOTUS will be ruling on DOMA and (hopefully,soon) granting federal recognition of LGBT relationships.

    My fervent wish is that Boehner and BLAG supporters will deeply regret their decision to fight, but we will benefit from their animus and bluster. All fingers crossed.

  • 26. Scott Wooledge  |  June 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    We call it chutzpah in New York.

    "Oh we passed a law that ruined gay people's lives. Now we have to defend that law! Poor us!"

  • 27. Str8Grandmother  |  June 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    LOL! Definitely New York phrase

  • 28. Straight4Equality  |  June 29, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Paul Clement has been having a rough time lately with the SCOTUS Arizona immigration and health care rulings going against him. May the streak continue!

  • 29. DaveP  |  June 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Aw dang it! I thought of all sorts of neat retorts while reading the article and by the time I got down here to the comments everybody beat me to it! I'll have to content myself by clicking a lot of little thumbs up thingies!

  • 30. Kevin S.  |  June 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Which name is most inappropriate for its current organization, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Utah Jazz or the *Bipartisan* Legal Advisory Group?

  • 31. Matt N  |  June 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    BLAG is about as accurate a name as DOMA!

  • 32. Straight Dave  |  June 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I always refer to it as the Denial of Marriage Act…..accurate 🙂

  • 33. demachio544  |  June 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Everyone… For years I have read this site practically every single day. I just created an account today, and I wanted to ask a question… Did anyone else notice that the deadline for initiatives to qualify for the November ballot in California came and went this week, and we didn't hear anything about the people who were trying to undo the FAIR Education Act? I actually haven't seen anything on this site for a LONG time that updated us on all that. I'm assuming the opponents of FAIR gave up on it quietly, but I thought maybe someone on here would know more than I do about it. (I refuse to go to any of those conservative nutjob websites because I get too angry, and I don't want to give them any more "traffic.")

  • 34. Stefan  |  June 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I believe they failed to get enough signatures to put it on the ballot, although Ive heard some reports that they may push for it in 2014. However, by that time it will have been in effect for a couple years and for many the concerns will have subsided.

  • 35. Str8Grandmother  |  June 30, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Hey thanks for noticing that!
    That IS good news isn't it 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I don't go to the websites from the other side either. I count on people with more fortitude then me to reconnoiter and report back.

  • 36. Walter  |  June 30, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Actually, several different measures have been circulating. Measure 1573. (11-0093, Amdt. #1S) has until 7/16/12 to turn in their signatures. Measure 1562. (11-0085) had until 6/25/12. Measure 1561. (11-0083) had until 6/25/12. Measure 1552. (11-0074) failed 6/22/12. Measure 1551. (11-0075) failed 6/22/12. I think I got them all. You can track everything at the following link and also learn the details about each measure.

  • 37. Larry  |  June 30, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Will our side be appealing also? I'd imagine the plaintiffs also want SCOTUS to decide if heightened scrutiny is appropriate for LGBTs, and that doesn't really look like it's covered by BLAG's question.

  • 38. Lymis  |  June 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

    It wouldn't make sense for our side to appeal – we won.

    Legally, the question is about the benefits being denied, not the level of scrutiny involved, so you can't really appeal because you won for the wrong reasons, or that you wanted a more sweeping ruling.

    The Supreme Court will bend itself into a pretzel to make this the narrowest possible ruling. They are more or less forced by their own precedents to take "rational basis with bite" seriously, because their other choices are actively affirming the right of the majority to blatantly discriminate against unpopular minorities or start applying intermediate or strict scrutiny to a lot more people – like us. That would be great, but they'll fight to avoid it.

  • 39. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 30, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Yes, bring it – get Paul Clement up in front of SCOTUS with their absolute best arguments, the kind that worked so well in Prop 8, so DOMA can be put down definitively. I'm sad that gay and lesbian couples have to suffer under DOMA in the meantime, but I confess I'm really savoring the reaction by the religious right as they watch their train head right off the cliff.

  • 40. Str8Grandmother  |  June 30, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Baker vs Nelson

    Page 4 or the Cert Appeal
    Reason Number 2

    II. The Decision Below Conflicts With This Court’s Decision in Baker v. Nelson and With the Decisions of Other Courts of Appeals. ……………………………………………………. 22

    Then just using word search, the word Baker shows up 23 more times. So I Hope, Hope, Hope this is the case where the Supreme Court WILL overrule Baker vs. Nelson, just as in Lawrence vs. Texas when they struck down Bowers vs Hardwick.

    I wonder if there is any way that they could strike down DOMA without also striking down Baker vs. Nelson. I'll have to think about that. I would be most interested in reading the opinion of others on this question. I think I will go look up who was on the Court when they dismissed Baker for want of a Constitutional issue.

  • 41. Lymis  |  June 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Easy. They just ignore it. Baker is about whether a same-sex couple has a right to be married. These couples are already married. It has nothing to do with this case.

    I think they'll give a definitive ruling that Baker doesn't apply in cases about what federal rights are in play when a state has married someone, and that would be a good thing. But the only context regarding DOMA that Baker could possibly apply is if the Court declared that marriage equality for same-sex couples is as fundamental a right as it is for opposite sex couples. I can't see them doing that if the question isn't even asked.

    They may need to address that in the Prop 8 case, but not this one. It might also come up in some context when the inevitable cases once DOMA falls about other states not recognizing the federal status of legally married same-sex couples get before the Court. This case, not so much.

  • 42. Str8Grandmother  |  June 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Lymis, I sent in a request to Prop8TrialTracker to ask some attorneys to analyze the potential of SCOTUS overturning Baker in Gill. Hopefully they can get some qualified people to write about this for us.

    BLAG's big bitch is about this new review level, Rational Basis with Bite. It seems to me that they very well could say, yes that is not the right one, we throw out Baker vs Nelson and state that laws that target sexual minorities must get heightened review. Hey I am not a lawyer but I'm thinking, could happen right? After all they threw out Bowers in Lawrence so it happens. The Court does make corrections, if not we would still have Dred Scott. Could that happen in Gill? I would like to read some people with the expertise to talk to this point.

  • 43. Steve  |  June 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    You miss that BLAG is claiming that this is somehow a new standard altogether. That's the real issue with this brief – not whether it applies. Even a conservative judge may not appreciate being lied to this blatantly.

    It's a standard that SCOTUS developed itself in three cases. And although they were careful to not specify which standard they used previously for gay people, it is being taught in law school. So BLAG arguing like that is really infuriating and may just get them into trouble.

    DOMA is so obviously unconstitutional that it fails even rational basis. So courts were able to side-step this question so far. SCOTUS will want to do so as well. So if they can argue that DOMA fails rational basis that's all they will do. Even if heightened scrutiny were appropriate in their opinion, they need to start with a rational basis review first.

  • 44. Str8Grandmother  |  June 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Steve, I appreciate your comments. The 1st Circuit 3 panel Judges did say that DOMA survives straight Rational Basis but fails at Rational Basis with Bite. Didn't the Justice department also say that at one time? In fact I remember listening to the Oral Hearings before the 1st Circuit Applet Judges and they asked the rep from Justice if he had an opinion (I think it was Tony West but won't swear) if DOMA meets Rational Basis and he declined to offer an opinion. The Justice Dept was pushing for heightened scrutiny.

    I would say odds are right in your favor that they will go with Rational Basis with Bite and not have to reach anything beyond that, but a girl can hope can't she?

  • 45. Ed Cortes  |  June 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

    It's beginning to look like Cement may actually be good for our side! 😛

  • 46. Scott Wooledge  |  June 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    It's certainly great he'll arrive in court with the stench of his last two failures fresh on him.

  • 47. Str8Grandmother  |  June 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I did just a quick wiki on Baker, here is the opening paragraph

    In the case of Richard John Baker v. Gerald R. Nelson[1] the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Minnesota law limited marriage to different-sex couples and that this limitation did not violate the United States Constitution. The plaintiffs appealed, and on October 10, 1972, the United States Supreme Court dismissed the appeal "for want of a substantial federal question." Because the case came to the federal Supreme Court through mandatory appellate review (not certiorari), the summary dismissal constituted a decision on the merits and established Baker v. Nelson as a precedent,[2] though the extent of its precedential effect has been subject to debate.[3]

    1972 was 40 years ago. I looked up our current Justices to see when they started serving-
    Scalia 1986
    Kennedy 1988
    Thomas 1991
    Ginsburg 1993
    Breyer 1994
    Roberts 2005
    Alito 2006
    Sotomayer 2009
    Kagan 2010

    In 1972 these were our Supreme Court Justices
    Powell Lewis
    Blackmun Harry
    Burger Warren
    Marshall, Thurgood
    Potter, Stewart
    Douglas, William
    White, Byron
    Brennan, William
    I only found 8 of them so they must have been one short for a short time.

  • 48. Joel  |  June 30, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Justice Harlan resigned from the court in September 1971, and was replaced effective January 1972 by J. Rehnquist. So at the time Baker was passed down, there were only 8 sitting justices.

  • 49. Joel  |  June 30, 2012 at 11:13 am


    I am bad at dates. In October 1972, Rehnquist was already sitting on the bench. There were 9 Justices in October 1972 (including Rehnquist) and there was not a vacancy on the court until Douglas was squeezed out in November 1975.

  • 50. Str8Grandmother  |  June 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks Joel. I can no longer edit my comment to add Rehnquist to the list but people will know it based on your comment above.

  • 51. Bill S.  |  July 1, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Judicial restraint requires that if the Supreme Court can overturn DOMA without overturning Baker, they have to go that route. This is what I would expect: they will decide that Baker is not binding on these proceedings as it concerns a different issue. They will not overturn Baker here.

  • 52. Scott Wooledge  |  July 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

    True. Judicial restraint also requires if the SCOTUS could uphold the mandate in ACA under the taxation clause there was no reason to examine the commerce clause argument.

    Still Roberts savaged the commerce argument, some worry hamstring future congresses by the precedent he created, unnecessarily.

  • 53. Bob  |  June 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    sorry wrong link above

  • 54. Bob  |  June 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    HAPPY CANADA DAY !!!!!!!!!!!

  • 55. chris hogan  |  June 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Another piece of evidence of ANIMUS toward gay people is the fact that EVERY time an anti-gay law is struck down, the other side uses EVERY electoral, legal and procedural tool available to reinstate it. The same thing with pro gay laws, only in reverse. This proves beyond any doubt that animus is their real motivation. Does anybody think they would go to such lengths in order to build a stadium, or lower taxes? Their legal arguments are now beyond foolish.

  • 56. Bob  |  June 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    tell it like it is ,,,,,,, so true

  • 57. Steven .k  |  June 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    <img src=""/&gt; Come on Blag, let's see what you got.<img src=""/&gt;

  • 58. Bob  |  June 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    mormon's leave the church

  • 59. Gregory in SLC  |  July 2, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I hadn't heard of this…I echo the "Freedom" cry….Feel's WONDERFUL to have left the Mormon church.

    Here is the local paper report about this. over 2500 comments so far…

  • 60. B Z  |  July 1, 2012 at 10:38 am

    What happens to this case if the Democrats take back the House in November?

  • 61. Str8Grandmother  |  July 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Well if the Dems take back the House Pelosi will stop the case. Then the Republicans will petition the Supreme Court to have somebody else stand in as Defendant Intervenors and it will probably set the case back a year… Shooting from the hip opinion

  • 62. B_Z  |  July 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    But then who else would have standing to defend DOMA?

  • 63. Bill S.  |  July 2, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Has she promised to do this? We're so far along into the case it would probably just be better to let them finish. We have a good chance at winning at the Supreme Court anyway.

  • 64. Scott Wooledge  |  July 1, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Yiddish, New Yawkese? Same thing. It's the language of our region, said as a transplanted goy who knows more Yiddish now than most flyover Jews.

  • 65. Mike in Baltimore  |  July 1, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    FYI – I've now lived in Baltimore City for more than 30 years. The Baltimore Metro area has among the 10 largest Jewish communities in the US, 5th is you consider secular, political and ancestral identification factors, and not attendance at synagogue or temple.

    Since I originally grew up in Indiana in the mid-20th century, I'm quite aware of regional idioms that would NOT transfer to other geographic areas. Do you drink 'pop', or 'coke' or 'soda'? However, "chutzpah" originated in the Yiddish language, and therefore is (in the English language) considered a 'borrowed' word or term. And "chutzpah" was a known, though rarely used, term in the MidWest when I was growing up.

    And according to, the origin of the term is:
    1890–95; < Yiddish < Aramaic (The '<' indicates derivation from.)

    Oh, and I doubt the people of Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, St. Louis, etc. (especially the Jewish population of those metro areas) appreciate your characterization of them being considered 'flyover Jews'.

  • 66. Midday open thread | Hots&hellip  |  July 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    […] will be remembered for “protecting equal justice under the law.” With the First Circuit Defense of Marriage act constitutional challenge moving swiftly his way, let’s hope he means […]

  • 67. Midday open thread - Onli&hellip  |  July 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    […] will be remembered for “protecting equal justice under the law.” With the First Circuit Defense of Marriage act constitutional challenge moving swiftly his way, let’s hope he means […]

  • 68. The Defense of Marriage A&hellip  |  July 8, 2012 at 6:24 am

    […] to review the constitutionality of DOMA in Gay And Lesbian Advocates And Defenders’ (GLAD) Gill v. Office of Personnel Management case. The law has failed the constitutional test twice in this case and many times in […]

  • 69. The Defense of Marriage A&hellip  |  July 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    […] to review the constitutionality of DOMA in Gay And Lesbian Advocates And Defenders’ (GLAD) Gill v. Office of Personnel Management case. The law has failed the constitutional test twice in this case and many times in […]

  • 70. The Defense of Marriage A&hellip  |  July 9, 2012 at 12:19 am

    […] to review the constitutionality of DOMA in Gay And Lesbian Advocates And Defenders’ (GLAD) Gill v. Office of Personnel Management case. The law has failed the constitutional test twice in this case and many times in […]

  • 71. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  July 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

    […] In Gill/Massachusetts, both the district court and the appeals court struck down Section 3 of DOMA. The First Circuit Court of Appeals was the first appeals court to do so. Both the Justice Department and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) – who is defending DOMA in court on behalf of House Republicans – petitioned the Supreme Court to review Gil. We analyzed the Justice Department’s petitions in Gill and Golinski here and the BLAG petition in Gill here. […]

  • 72. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  December 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    […] the Gill/Massachusetts case, there are several petitions for certiorari to the Supreme Court. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) is the main petitioner. They were the losing party at the First Circuit Court of Appeals, after attempting to […]

  • 73. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  December 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    […] BLAG and the Justice Department have both asked the Court to take up the challenge, the filing of this […]

  • 74. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  January 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    […] 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 […]

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