House Lawyers Appeal DOMA Ruling
Lawyers acting on behalf of the U.S. House have filed to appeal a federal judge’s ruling, handed down last week, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.
House GOP leaders are appealing a federal court’s decision on Thursday that found a section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional.
The action by the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which moved on behalf of GOP leaders, will send the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which earlier this month ruled against a ban on gay marriage in California.
Democrats are not supporting the appeal. “The Democratic leader and the Democratic whip decline to support the filing of this notice of appeal,” the notice read.
U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage, violates the U.S. Constitution.
The case to be appealed, known as Golinski v. United States, involves Karen Golinski, a federal court employee who under DOMA has been denied spousal health coverage for her wife.
Judge White, in handing down his decision last week, wrote: “the Court finds that DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by, without substantial justification or rational basis, refusing to recognize her lawful marriage to prevent provision of health insurance coverage to her spouse.”
The House leadership has been repeatedly criticized for funding the legal defense of DOMA.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote to House Speaker John Boehner again last week, saying that no matter how much Boehner may claim the defense of DOMA to be a bi-partisan issue Democratic lawmakers do not support defending the Defense of Marriage Act, and that any money spent on defending DOMA is a waste.
Last year Speaker Boehner tripled the amount the House can spend on defending the Defense of Marriage Act, now totaling $1.5m — the latest contracts show there is, however, no cap on how much the House can spend, meaning that it is possible further funds could be allocated toward DOMA court battles.
As mentioned above, this case now goes before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 9th Circuit most recently ruled Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, but how they will deal with this case will be of keen interest to both supporters and opponents of marriage equality alike.