It looks like the Supreme Court is under increasing pressure to take up cases on Gay Marriage and the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act”, a law that forces the federal government to discriminate against gays and their families.
John Boehnor and Eric Cantor have been leading the fight to defend the law in court and spending an always increasing blank check to pay for it.
The Republican-led House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group today mailed its petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to review the May 31 ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that the federal definition of marriage contained in the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
In a filing obtained by Metro Weekly, BLAG asks the Supreme Court, which must agree to consider the case, to take the appeal for three reasons: (1) the constitutionality of DOMA Section 3 is “an issue of great national importance” and raises separation-of-powers questions; (2) the First Circuit decision conflicts with the Supreme Court’s 1972 decision in Baker v. Nelson and other appellate decisions; and (3) the First Circuit “invented a new standard of equal protection review.”
In the course of the filing, called a petition for a writ of certiorari, BLAG states that “[t]he executive branch has … abdicated its traditional role of defending the constitutionality of duly-enacted statutes.”
This could have big impacts for a lot of gay couples, since the case in question would cover three cases that have made their way through the First Circuit and were decided jointly.
Other parties have 30 days from the date the petition is received to file their view of whether the Supreme Court should take the case. The cases, which were decided jointly by the First Circuit, involve a challenge to the law brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, and a challenge brought by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services.
Not soon there after the Department of Justice went straight to the Supreme Court asking them to not only take the First Circuit Court Case, but to take a Ninth Circuit Case as well before the case even makes oral arguments in the Appellate Court. AFER has more:
The Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court to hear two challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, in an unexpected move. The announcement comes in the form of a letter to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the DOMA challenge in that circuit, Golinski v. OPM. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), who is representing the Republican-led House in defense of DOMA, had filed for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in a different challenge, Gill v. OPM/Massachusetts v. HHS, this past Friday. The letter notes that the Solicitor General has filed petitions for certiorari in both cases.
They suggest that because the district court ruling addressed the level of scrutiny, it’s time for the Supreme Court to decide that important issue once and for all. The Supreme Court could accept one petition or both in its October conference.