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Supreme Court to hear extended argument in DOMA case

DOMA trials Marriage equality Windsor

By Scottie Thomaston

The Supreme Court will allow extra time for argument time in United States v. Windsor, challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Court has granted the joint motion for extra time filed last week.

The order says:

On the jurisdiction issues, the Court-appointed amicus curiae is allotted 20 minutes, the Solicitor General is allotted 15 minutes, and respondent Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives is allotted 15 minutes. On the merits, respondent Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives is allotted 30 minutes, the Solicitor General is allotted 15 minutes, and respondent Edith Windsor is allotted 15 minutes.

Edith Windsor is not given time to argue on jurisdiction. The total argument time is 110 minutes.

On Wednesday, the Solicitor General filed the motion at the Supreme Court with all the litigants in the Windsor case requesting 125 minutes to argue their points. The request divided up the time this way:

On the question of the Court’s authority to decide — that is, the jurisdiction over the government’s appeal and the right of the House GOP leaders to pursue an appeal — the motion suggested a total of 65 minutes, in this order: Court-appointed amici, 25 minutes; Solicitor General, for the U.S., 15 minutes; House GOP (Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group), 15 minutes, and challenger Edith Schlain Windsor, 10 minutes. (The Court-appointed amici is Harvard professor Vicki C. Jackson.)

On the constitutionality of DOMA’s Section 3 — the ban on federal marriage benefits for same-sex couples who are legally married under state law — the motion suggested a total of 60 minutes, in this order: House GOP (BLAG), defending the law, 30 minutes; SG, for the U.S., 15 minutes, and Ms Windsor, 15 minutes. (The motion noted that the Court-appointed amici, who is involved only on the jurisdictional issues, took no position on this separate proposal.)

The Court has asked the parties to address some initial questions related to Article III standing and jurisdiction. And the Court appointed an outside attorney as amicus curiae to take the position that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) who is defending the law for House Republicans lacks Article III standing to appeal, and that the Justice Department’s agreement that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional means the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.

Usually the Court hears two arguments per day when they sit for arguments. But March 26 and 27 only the same-sex marriage cases are listed. Presumably this is to give lawyers in both cases an opportunity to request more time.

United States v. Windsor will be argued March 27.

Here is the order via Scribd, h/t Kathleen as always:

Windsor: ORDER setting argument time by EqualityCaseFiles

1 Comment

  • 1. Equality On Trial »&hellip  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:46 am

    […] While the Supreme Court has granted a request for a longer argument time in the DOMA case (110 minutes instead of the usual 60) we are still […]

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