plaintiffs in the Pedersen v. OPM case. (Courtesy GLAD)
[Bryant] issued her order Wednesday in the case, Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management. BLAG filed a motion to stay last month, arguing that the same issues were under consideration in Windsor v. United States, a case now on appeal in the Second Circuit. Both cases challenge section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Last month, a federal judge in New York ruled DOMA unconstitutional in the Windsor case. [...]The case involves six married New England couples and a widower. All have been denied federal benefits because of DOMA. It is almost a certainty that after Bryant rules on the subtance of the case, it will be appealed.
Judge Bryant, a George W. Bush appointee, rejected BLAG’s assertion that the Pedersen and Windsor cases are the same, where she noted that in the latter, the standing of the sole plaintiff, Edith Windsor, has been challenged by BLAG, and therefore the Second Circuit could limit its analysis to that question, which would not dispose of the issues under consideration in Pedersen.
The judge also wrote that a stay “would not conserve judicial economy” because the district court was already in the process of drafting a decision, and she said that the plaintiffs would be harmed by a stay at this point.
You can learn more about Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management and the plaintiffs involved here.