April 19, 2011
Yesterday, there were several important developments in the ongoing struggle to protect the Defense of Marriage Act. Two were brought about by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner. The third flowed from one of his decisions. The Washington Times carried a story by Cheryl Wetzstein describing these developments today. Go to Scotusblog here for more information. Here are is a description of these developments:
First, Speaker Boehner sent House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a letter reiterating that the House was going to take appropriate steps to defend the constitutionality of DoMA. Additionally, DoJ accounts are going to debited to reimburse the cost of the litigation efforts needed to defend the statute.
Second, it was announced that former Solicitor General of the United States Paul Clement would oversee the defense of DoMA in various court actions around the country. Clement is one of the most talented lawyers in the United States, and his participation ensures that the statute will receive the best defense possible when the issue finally reaches the Supreme Court.
And, third, Clement acted quickly to file a motion asking that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House be allowed to intervene in Windsor v. United States, a DoMA case that is now docketed in federal court in New York City. Here are the motion to intervene and the accompanying legal memorandum that were filed. It is expected that a similar request to intervene will be filed in a similar case in Connecticut (Pederson).
On February 23rd when the Holder DoJ bailed out on DoMA it was not clear whether the House would take effective action. At this time, however, it appears that Speaker Boehner has put the people in place to effectively defend the statute. The DoJ cost offset is completely appropriate, but even if there were no offset it is pretty funny to see Nancy Pelosi complaining about the cost of anything the government does.