House Likely to Intervene in Military DOMA Suit


Lawyers on behalf of the U.S. House will likely soon intervene in a legal case challenging DOMA on grounds that it prevents soldiers in same-sex marriages from accessing the same benefits as heterosexual married soldiers.

Reports The Washington Blade:

The litigation, known as McLaughlin v. Panetta, was filed on behalf of gay troops and veterans by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and Chadbourne & Parke LLC. It’s pending before the District Court of Massachusetts.

Christopher Man, counsel at Chadbourne & Parke LLC, told the Blade via email on Saturday he believes the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, led by House Speaker John Boehner, is “likely to intervene soon, possibly as soon as next week” and plaintiffs will oppose the intervention.

This comes after the Obama administration, as part of its determination that DOMA Section 3 is unconstitutional, sent a letter to Congress in February informing lawmakers that it would not defend the statute in this case. The letter also specified that it would not defend provisions in Title 10, Title 32, and Title 38 of the U.S. Code that prevent troops in same-sex marriages from receiving benefits.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) recently called on House Speaker Boehner to stop defending DOMA, citing a recent court ruling to highlight why taxpayer money the House is spending on litigation is wasted funds, saying, “The court made it clear that there is no legitimate federal interest in denying married gay and lesbian couples the legal security, rights, and responsibilities guaranteed to all married couples under state law.”

House lawyers took up defense of DOMA Section 3 after the Obama administration announced in February of last year that it would no longer defend the provision because, after review, it believes the law to be unconstitutional. House Republicans, using their 3-2 majority in the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), voted over Democrats to have the House take up defending DOMA.

Last year Boehner increased the amount that could be spent defending DOMA from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The door remains open to further rises and Boehner, despite previous calls from Pelosi, has repeatedly refused to set a final cap on spending.

BLAG lawyers have been heavily criticized for misrepresenting and distorting research to try and support their case against gay marriage. Read more on that here.


Related Reading:

DOJ Will Not Defend Anti-Gay Block on Military Benefits

SPLC Challenges DOMA On Behalf of Disabled Lesbian Vet

Domestic Partners Join DOMA Health Care Lawsuit


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to House GOP Leader.


LD B4 years ago

Do you make up all of this carp yourself, Bill R. OR, does someone spoon feed it to you.

Czar has NEVER meant "dictator." Look it up.

Anne Cole
.4 years ago

It's still just a word Bill R. Don't get hysterical.

Bill Reese
Bill Reese4 years ago

CZAR as used in Russia is the same as dictator, someone without oversight and controls his domain.
Do not try to work around the use by changing the subject. All Czars should be banned from any US Government administration.

LD B4 years ago

"Czar" is just a word, Bill. You cannot outlaw a word.


Bill Reese
Bill Reese4 years ago

That is correct when some lady said President Ford had a CZAR, and so did the presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush again, but no one had so many and so many worthless Czars, in fact I think that congress should outlaw all CZARS. We now have seen how a dictator uses CZARs to get around congress oversight.

It is a stupid way to govern.

LD B4 years ago

So, Republicans in the House, which has no standing to either implement or enforce Legislation, a role that is reserved onto the Executive branch, are going to spend tax dollars arguing the the Federal government is immune to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution?

And, where were Republicans when Dubbya issued a record number of Signing Statements, declining to implement countless Acts of Congress?

Does the word "hypocrisy" come to mind?

Angela M.
Angela Mogin4 years ago

These fiscal conservatives who would cut medical care to women and children in the name of austerity are willing to spend $1.5 to defend a policy that no one wants except a few extremists who make up some of their support. Instead of speaking for reason and equality, the Speaker is pandering to any extreme demands while ignoring the growing number of states who are in favor of gay marriage. This is truly a case of the tail wagging the dog, which would be funny if tax payer money wasn't being wasted on this futile quest.

Victoria S.
Victoria S4 years ago

Hey Bill R. I know who you would love! Hitler, he killed all the gay's in Gremany at the same time he was killing the Jews! You would have loved the way he made the Mark worthless just like Bush did when he gave out the T.A.R.P. funds!

Past Member 4 years ago

How well we can all sleep at night knowing that America's morals are being upheld by "Christians" in Congress distinguishable from the Taliban only by virtue (so-called) of the fact that they don't wear turbans.

These bible-beating bunko artists, hate-filled bigots, galactically stupid ignoramuses and sociopaths scream "Jobs, jobs, jobs" and prattle on, weepy-eyed, about "personal liberty and freedom" -- while the only actions they've undertaken (as in the states they've taken over) are to restrict personal liberty and freedom by imposing their warped and perverted world view on those they despise -- everyone not like themselves.

Robert O.
Robert O4 years ago

Karen and Ed O., I think you just about summed it up in a nutshell. It sickens me to think that Boehner and his closeminded, intolerant GOP cronies find this issue to be so pressing when we're in the midst of an economic downturn and facing so many other troubling issues here at home and abroad. Just goes to show how way out of order their priorities are, either that or they know they're obstructionism has caused so much turmoil that they're trying to achieve the one victory they think is within their petty grasp. What a sad lot they are.