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Last week saw a request for certiorari filed with the Supreme Court on two related cases originating in the First District--the Gill vs OPM and Massachusetts vs HHS cases. Both of these cases challenge the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Today, the Department of Justice has submitted a request for cert on another case--Golinski vs OPM. Karen Golinski, an employee of the Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco, married her partner of 20 years in 2008 when such marriages were legal in California and attempted to obtain health insurance for her partner under the federal government's health benefits plan. She was refused with DOMA being cited as the basis. The courts have held, thus far, that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, is unconstitutional.

What's unusual about the latter filing is that Golinski is still under appeal in the Ninth Circuit while the First Circuit has already determined that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional and, in that instance, the request for cert was filed by BLAG.

The cases against DOMA are piling up. There are also pending cases in the Second Circuit. At this point I'm beginning to wonder if all of attempts to overturn DOMA will be combined.

Here's a link (as usual we must stop and thank our own Scottie Thomaston): Link

Originally posted to sfbob on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 04:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, and Kossacks for Marriage Equality.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You should (6+ / 0-)

    Include DOMA in your title to draw more people to your diary. Few people instantly know what the Golinski case is

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:21:44 PM PDT

  •  or we all posted stuff at the same time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Steveningen

    Thanks, bob.  I have the Prop 8 Trial Tracker bookmarked but I don't consult it anywhere near often enough.  I'd go with "combined" too.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:26:22 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the shout out! (6+ / 0-)

    This is really big news. The DOJ is pushing hard at the Ninth Circuit. They had asked for an initial en banc hearing in Golinski but they were denied. The judges agreed to an expedited schedule (arguments the week of 9/10) but not to initial en banc. Guess they're bypassing the Circuit entirely now. Well, trying to.

    I am proud to be a Contributor at Courage Campaign Institute's
    @indiemcemopants on Twitter

    by Scottie Thomaston on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:35:18 PM PDT

  •  This is an amazing development!!! (8+ / 0-)

    (Note I never use more than 1 exclaimation pount!)

    I didn't see this one coming, attempting to fold Golinski into Gill. Wow.

    Fingers crossed SCOTUS says yes.

    Predictions? How rare is it to skip a level of review in cases like this?

    Only thing that puts my heart in my throat is DOJ is really daring the SCOTUS to find suspect class for LGBTs, something they have thus far been very conspicuously reluctant to do.

    Ok. Hold my hand, Lambda, GLAD, MA AG Cloakley and DOJ and I'll try not to be too scurred.

    "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:54:33 PM PDT

    •  They are pushing for a definitive opinion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge, cooper888, ColoTim

      And having lots of opinions below asserting the unconstitutionality of DOMA helps the DOJ put together a much more substantial case.

      Here's hoping that J Kennedy is done with his "get off my lawn" tirade*, and that CJ Roberts is acting in good faith when he says he wants his court to be remembered as a court of equal opportunity under the law.

      And I stand by my quirky opinion that J Thomas may very well surprise us on this one. This is the sort of Federalism issue that might appeal to him. The states have made their laws, and the federal government should respect them. I wouldn't expect him to go along with suspect class status, though.

      * as irksome as he has been with ACA, Kennedy has been just as forceful -- even poetic at times -- in pushing the bar forward on LGBT issues.

      sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words

      by harrije on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 07:02:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with you on Roberts. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cooper888, harrije, ColoTim, sfbob

        Not that I think his vote is likely. But I think a lot of people who think he'd never do it, don't understand there are corporate conservatives that aren't necessarily social, theological conservatives. He's pro-life, yes, but not all pro-lifers are anti-gay. We don't have much of a body of evidence on how JR feels about gays. (Unlike Scalia where the history is long and ugly.)

        "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

        by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 07:31:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought Roberts had done some work (0+ / 0-)

          on pro-LGBT rights cases in the past.

          •  He advised LGBT advocates on Romer (0+ / 0-)

            as a pro-bono assignment for a private practice he worked for. Might have been under duress from his boss. Or maybe he volunteered? No one knows. Roberts has never spoken of it that I know. It freaked the Fundies out during his nomination. Bush had to do damage control.

            "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

            by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:34:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm a lawyer and I didn't even know... (0+ / 0-)

              ...that it's possible to petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals rules.

              Is this something that only the DOJ can do?

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:56:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, the DOJ cited (0+ / 0-)

                about 10 cases where it has happened in the past. So it's possible, there is precedent.

                It will be unusual and extraordinary if they say yes.

                But they might, as the two cases are very similar and emanating from two different circuits (1st & 9th) so maybe they'll embrace the opportunity to address them simultaneously.

                And it IS the DOJ that's doing the asking, so there's a lot of weight coming from that office.

                It WOULD fulfill the mandate of judicial economy.

                "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

                by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 04:47:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I don't know if ONLY the DOJ (0+ / 0-)

                can do it. I rather suspect it's only the DOJ that would have their request seriously entertained. Everyone else would probably be scoffed at.

                "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

                by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 04:48:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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