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Amicus briefs in support of BLAG in Golinski case

June 11, 2012

Golinski v. OPM

Today is the deadline for filing amicus briefs in support of BLAG (reversal of district court decision) in the 9th Circuit appeal in this case.  I’ll be adding them to this quick hit as they come in throughout the day.  Amicus briefs in support of Plaintiffs won’t be due until one week after Plaintiffs/DOJ file their briefs next month.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch, et al. (U.S. Senators Orrin G. Hatch, Saxby Chambliss, Dan Coats, Thad Cochran, Mike Crapo, Charles Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby and Roger Wicker)

Former Attorneys General Edwin Meese III and John Ashcroft

State of Indiana, et. al (States of Indiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Sourth Carolina and Virginia)

National Organization for Marriage (ignore the case number stamp on the document; NOM first filed this in the wrong case and, to save money, I didn’t download the doc again from PACER when they re-filed).

American College of Pediatricians

Concerned Women For America

Frederick Douglass Foundation

Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund

 

 

 

 

16 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. SeattleRobin  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I haven't read the NOM brief yet, but I'll sum up how the others read to me as a non-expert:

    Brief from the Senators: Very well-presented and quite persuasive. But still uses a bit of a shell game to dance around a couple key points they don't have good arguments against.

    Brief from the attorneys general: Whine, whine whine. Stamp feet. Obama isn't doing it right.

    Brief from the states: We're scared we don't have a leg to stand on. And even if DOMA is unconstitutional it would be the wrong thing to do to overturn it.

  • 2. SeattleRobin  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Gah, and here we go. I just read the ACP brief and they're (predictably) trotting out that new study linked to in a post on the main page and completely misrepresenting it. (Surprise, surprise!) The phrase "raised by two women" is used repeatedly in the brief when in reality few of the respondents surveyed were actually raised by a same-sex couple. Most were instead from broken homes (heterosexual marriages/unwed mothers), with no unifying pattern in family structure within the group, unlike the control group which is intact families with both a biological mother and father in the home for the duration of childhood.

    SeattleRobin – replying to myself

  • 3. Gregory in SLC  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    yep, ACP, related to the infamous rent-a-boy-Rekers:

    only weeks before Rekers’s excellent European adventure, his name appeared on the masthead of an official-looking letter sent to some 14,000 school superintendents nationwide informing them that homosexuality is a choice that can be stamped out by therapy. The letter was from the “American College of Pediatricians” — a misnomer for what is actually a political organization peddling homophobic junk-science.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/opinion/16rich….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_College_of_

  • 4. Matt N  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    The writing in the senators' brief was done well, but I didn't find the arguments very persuasive.

    One of the arguments was that DOMA needed to be passed so that same-sex couples in different parts of the country would be treated equally. Their solution? Deny ALL same-sex couples the rights! Making them 100% unequal to their straight counterparts. I mean really… are they really that worried about same-sex couples being treated unequally…

  • 5. Steve  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    And as typical for DOMA, even if we accepted that reason, the action doesn't serve it. Even with DOMA, a same-sex couple who is married is obviously treated differently than a couple in another state that can't marry. Withholding federal benefits doesn't change the benefits they receive under state law.

  • 6. SeattleRobin  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:17 am

    The persuasive part was their stating that Congress had a rational reason for passing DOMA, which was to clarify the unspoken understanding that whenever marriage is mentioned in federal laws and regulations it means between a man and a woman. No one can refute it's true that until the 1990s that was the understanding of pretty much everyone in the country.

    But like Steve said, even if that is a rational basis for passing DOMA, it doesn't make it constitutional to treat similarly situated couples differently. That's the shell game part that I was referring to, they didn't dare touch on that.

  • 7. Steve  |  June 12, 2012 at 7:14 am

    There was also an unspoken understanding that the federal government would usually defer to the states when it comes to defining marriages. Saying that there was some secret, unwritten meaning in the federal definition that needs to be honored at all costs sounds very much like a post hoc rationalization.

  • 8. Matt  |  June 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

    True, but that argument sounds a lot like "tradition" (preserving the definition of marriage as it existed in 1996), which itself is not a rational reason for a law (according to SCOTUS)

  • 9. Matt N  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Also, their main argument seems to be that there would be this mass chaos if suddenly same-sex marriages were federally recognized–that every gay person would rush to the nearest state where it was legal, and come back to their state where it was not legal.

    My response would be.. why not give federal benefits to all same-sex married couples regardless of their state of residence? That makes this nice and simple, no chaos, etc. If they have a marriage certificate, then they are married. End of story.

    That's where you get into the animus.. they could have chosen to uniformly accept all same-sex marriages instead of uniformly rejecting them.

  • 10. David Henderson  |  June 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Unfortunately, that wouldn't quite resolve the conflict, due to mixed federal-state programs such as Medicaid. In that scenario, if a same-sex maried couple lived in a state that didn't recognize same-sex marriages as valid, they would still have to be treated as married by the state for Medicaid purposes, but might not be treated as married for other purposes.

  • 11. Gregory in SLC  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    FU Senator Hatch. You do NOT represent this Utahn. Do your job and support ALL Utah families. My marriage, my family does not hurt your Mormon church…but your bias, hate and ignorance has real consequences to my family…and the 4x the national average of teen suicide victims.

  • 12. jeff  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    If you go to this link, you don't get charged for the documents: http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/content/view.php?pk_i

  • 13. Kathleen  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Jeff, the Court's website (the link provided) depends on court staff to upload the documents, whereas on the PACER docket the document is available as soon as it is filed. The NOM brief is available at the Court's website now, but wasn't at the time I posted it above. You'll note there are several I've uploaded here that still aren't available at the link.

  • 14. Jamie  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:08 am

    DOMA is constitutional, because Prop 8 is unconstitutional. There's a stupid argument.

  • 15. B &E  |  June 14, 2012 at 7:13 am

    The latest contribution by the states of Indiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia is complete and utter garbage. They have nothing but the same old responsible procreation arguments, and attempt to justify them as logical means to squashing equal rights for GLBT.

  • 16. Carolina  |  November 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I might buy it if it was expanded a bit. The resoan I say this is that my job involves failed marriages, and there are certain patterns and behaviors I see over and over and over. I need to know the why behind various stimuli and responses. One of the resoans I come to this site is because I’m looking for answers about the behavior I see. Your post about BPD was very enlightening, for example. What I want to know is why are some people unable to stand up to PA folks, and what it would take for them to deal with such people so that their lives aren’t so miserable. I see people spending decades with people who make them miserable (in more ways than just PA behavior), and I keep thinking life is too short for that crap. If your book focuses on recognizing these people and their behavior and strategies for dealing with them–and by dealing with I mean neutralizing them–or avoiding them, I would want to read it. Here is what I have noticed: a lot of those on the receiving end of unjustified anger (not just here, in the cases at work, too) react by giving in. And they seem to think that bending backwards for that person will make them magically become nicer. That’s what I don’t get: why do people think this? It never works (or maybe it does, I only see the failed marriages after all). I didn’t realize PA behavior was a woman’s thing, because the first time I learned of it a man was being diagnosed with it. I simply classified it as being a jerk. If this truly is disproportionately a woman’s defect, then you definitely have something there. I think I’m a little wary about a book from that perspective (as opposed to a strategy perspective), because it seems that these days, spelling out a given defect is used as an excuse for bad behavior as in, “Oh, sorry, I’m PA! Can’t help myself,” and then it’s like the latest victim-fad rather than a jumping off point for self-reform. I’m not sure how you can avoid that side effect, though. –Tyrian Purple