The United States Trustee for California has filed a Motion For Leave To Appeal the ruling by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California which declared DOMA unconstitutional. The filing, in the case In re Balas and Morales (11-bk-17831-TD Doc 53), states that:

Although Attorney General and the President have concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same sex couples is subject to heightened scrutiny and is unconstitutional under that standard, the  President has instructed that Executive Departments and agencies continue to comply with Section 3 unless and until it is repealed by Congress or there is a definitive ruling by the Judicial Branch that Section 3 is unconstitutional.

A strange submission. the Justice Department believes that DOMA is unconstitutional, but is appealing a ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional. The filing indicates that the opportunity to brief this issue was provided to the Congress, which declined to participate, and there is no indication that Congress wants to participate in an appeal. So who exactly is seeking reversal here?

While it is true that Justice has a duty, to a point, to defend duly enacted laws, there are limits to this duty. And indeed, the United States Trustee  in this case does not seem to have much inclination to provide a meritorious defense in this appeal. Not a decision I fully understand (indeed, it defies my prediction of no appeal in this case.)

Originally posted to Discussing The Law: TalkLeft's View On Law and Politics on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 06:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women.

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