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12-63 #6 BLAG Response/Oppostition

12-63 #6 BLAG Response/Oppostition

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Published by Equality Case Files
EQCF Dkt#6 - BLAG Response in Opposition to granting cert
EQCF Dkt#6 - BLAG Response in Opposition to granting cert

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Sep 06, 2012
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09/06/2012

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No.
 
12-63In The
Supreme Court of the United States
 ________________ 
 E
DITH
S
CHLAIN
W
INDSOR
,
 Petitioner
,v.T
HE
U
NITED
S
TATES OF
 A 
MERICA 
,andB
IPARTISAN
L
EGAL
 A 
DVISORY 
G
ROUP OF THE
 U
NITED
S
TATES
H
OUSE OF
R
EPRESENTATIVES
,
Respondents
.
 ________________ 
 
On Petition for a Writ of CertiorariBefore Judgment to the United StatesCourt of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 ________________ 
 
BRIEF IN OPPOSITION
 ________________ 
 
ERRY 
W.
 
IRCHER
 
General Counsel
 
W
ILLIAM
P
ITTARD
 
 Deputy General Counsel
 
C
HRISTINE
D
 AVENPORT
 
Senior Assistant Counsel
 
T
ODD
B.
 
T
 ATELMAN
 
M
 ARY 
B
ETH
W
 ALKER
 
 Assistant Counsels
 
O
FFICE OF
G
ENERAL
C
OUNSEL
 U.S.
 
H
OUSE OF
 R
EPRESENTATIVES
 219 Cannon House Office Bldg.Washington, D.C. 20515
 
(202) 225-9700P
 AUL
D.
 
C
LEMENT
 
Counsel of Record
H.
 
C
HRISTOPHER
B
 ARTOLOMUCCI
 N
ICHOLAS
J.
 
N
ELSON
 B
 ANCROFT
PLLC1919 M Street, N.W.Suite 470Washington, D.C. 20036(202) 234-0090pclement@bancroftpllc.com
Counsel for Respondent
Case number 12-63 EQCF Dkt#6 Filed 08/31/2012
 
QUESTIONS PRESENTED
Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”)provides that for purposes of federal law “the word‘marriage’ means only a legal union between oneman and one woman as husband and wife, and theword ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the oppositesex who is a husband or wife.” 1 U.S.C. § 7. Thequestions presented are:(1) Does Section 3 of DOMA violate the equalprotection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment?(2) Does Petitioner have standing to challengeDOMA given that her standing is premised on aCanadian marriage certificate obtained at a timewhen New York law did not recognize same-sexmarriage?
 
ii
PARTIES TO THE PROCEEDING
 
Respondent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Groupof the U.S. House of Representatives (“House”) wasthe intervenor-defendant in the district court and isan appellant in the Second Circuit and a respondentin this Court.
1
 Respondent the United States is an appellant inthe Second Circuit.Petitioner Edith Schlain Windsor, in her capacityas executor of the estate of Thea Clara Spyer, wasthe plaintiff in the district court and is the appelleein the Second Circuit.
1
The United States House of Representatives has articulatedits institutional position in litigation matters through a five-member bipartisan leadership group since at least the early1980’s (although the formulation of the group’s name haschanged somewhat over time). Since 1993, the House ruleshave formally acknowledged and referred to the BipartisanLegal Advisory Group, as such, in connection with its functionof providing direction to the Office of the General Counsel.
See,e.g.
, Rule I.11, Rules of the House of Representatives, 103rdCong. (1993); Rule II.8, Rules of the House of Representatives,112th Cong. (2011). While the group seeks consensuswhenever possible, it, like the institution it represents,functions on a majoritarian basis when consensus cannot beachieved. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group currently iscomprised of the Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker of theHouse, the Honorable Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, theHonorable Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip, the HonorableNancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, and the Honorable Steny H.Hoyer, Democratic Whip. The Democratic Leader and theDemocratic Whip have declined to support the position takenby the Group on the merits of DOMA Section 3’sconstitutionality in this and other cases.

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