April 4, 2011
It has not received much attention or perhaps I just missed it but the First Circuit issued the following order in the DoMA cases on March 30th:
These cases will be held in abeyance until further order of this court.
The government has represented to the court that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives has informed the Executive Branch of its intention to participate in these consolidated cases to defend the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. To date, that Group has not filed an appearance or otherwise sought to participate in these cases. Until such action is taken, if it be taken, the present view of the court is that it would be premature to set schedules for any filings by that group. Rather, we direct the Executive Branch, by the government, to file a status report by June 1, 2011. That status report should address: (1) whether and, if so, when the Attorney General submitted a report to both houses of Congress, under 28 U.S.C. 530D(a)(2); (2) what action, if any, has been taken by the required recipients in response to any such report; and (3) any information as to the timing of proposed submissions to the court on behalf of the Congress or either house thereof.
The Clerk is directed to send copies of this order to the Speaker, Minority Leader, and General Counsel of the United States House of Representatives.
It is reassuring that the Court of Appeals is being so solicitous of possible action by the House of Representatives. In contrast with the Dep't of Justice, at least this court believes in having both sides of the case presented.