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2:12-cv-00887 #76

2:12-cv-00887 #76

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc #76 - BLAG's response in support of DOJ's Motion to Dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
Doc #76 - BLAG's response in support of DOJ's Motion to Dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: Equality Case Files on Feb 01, 2013
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02/01/2013

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12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728Paul D. Clement (DC Bar 433215)pclement@bancroftpllc.comH. Christopher Bartolomucci (DC Bar 453423)cbartolomucci@bancroftpllc.comNicholas J. Nelson (DC Bar 1001696)nnelson@bancroftpllc.comMichael H. McGinley (DC Bar 1006943)mmcginley@bancroftpllc.comBANCROFT PLLC1919 M Street, N.W.Suite 470Washington, D.C. 20036202-234-0090 (telephone)202-234-2806 (facsimile)
Of Counsel:
Kerry W. Kircher, General Counsel (DC Bar 386816)Kerry.Kircher@mail.house.govWilliam Pittard, Deputy General Counsel (DC Bar 482949)William.Pittard@mail.house.govChristine Davenport, Senior Assistant Counsel (NJ Bar 043682000)Christine.Davenport@mail.house.govTodd B. Tatelman, Assistant Counsel (VA Bar 66008)Todd.Tatelman@mail.house.govMary Beth Walker, Assistant Counsel (DC Bar 501033)MaryBeth.Walker@mail.house.govEleni M. Roumel (SC Bar 75763)Eleni.Roumel@mail.house.govOFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL,U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES219 Cannon House Office BuildingWashington, D.C. 20515202-225-9700 (telephone)202-226-1360 (facsimile)
Counsel for Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives
Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76 Filed 01/22/13 Page 1 of 6 Page ID #:1176
 
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1
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTCENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIAWestern Division
) No. 2:12-cv-00887-CBM (AJWx)TRACEY COOPER-HARRIS and )MAGGIE COOPER-HARRIS, ))Plaintiffs, )
 
)
 
v. ))UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., )))Defendants, ))
and 
)) Hearing: Feb. 25, 2013BIPARTISAN LEGAL ADVISORY ) Time: 10:00 a.m.GROUP OF THE U.S. HOUSE ) Hon. Consuelo B. MarshallOF REPRESENTATIVES, ))Intervenor-Defendant. ))Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S.House of Representatives (“House”) respectfully submits this response in supportof the Motion of Defendants the United States of America, Eric H. Holder, Jr., theAttorney General of the United States, and Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of theDepartment of Veterans Affairs (collectively “Executive Branch Defendants”) toDismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (Dec. 13, 2012) (ECF No. 68).The House agrees that this case should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. As confirmed by the Ninth Circuit’s recent en banc decision in
Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki
(“
VCS 
”), 678 F.3d 1013, 1025 (9th Cir.2012) (en banc),
 pet. for cert. denied 
No. 12-296, 2013 WL 57122 (U.S. Jan. 7,2012), this Court’s review of Plaintiffs’ equal protection challenge is barred by theVeterans’ Judicial Review Act (“VJRA”), Pub. L. No. 100-687, div. A, 102 Stat.4105 (1988), codified at various sections in Title 38.
RESPONSE OFINTERVENOR-DEFENDANT IN SUPPORTOF “FEDERALDEFENDANTS’” MOTIONTO DISMISS FOR LACK OFSUBJECT MATTERJURISDICTION
 
Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76 Filed 01/22/13 Page 2 of 6 Page ID #:1177
 
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2The VJRA creates an
exclusive
statutory scheme for review of all veterans’benefits claims, requiring that “[t]he Secretary . . . decide all questions of law andfact necessary to a decision by the Secretary . . . that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans.”38 U.S.C. § 511;
see also VCS 
, 678 F.3d at 1020 (“In cases involving benefitsowed to veterans, Congress has created a scheme conferring exclusive jurisdictionover claims affecting veterans’ benefits to some federal courts, while denying
allother 
federal courts
any
jurisdiction over such claims.” (emphases added)).Although “nothing in the VJRA forecloses judicial review of constitutionalquestions,”
VCS 
, 678 at 1031, the VJRA vests judicial review in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, notthe district courts.
See
38 U.S.C. §§ 7252(a), 7261(a), 7292(c).Notably, another pending case involving a challenge to the constitutionalityof DOMA Section 3 and 38 U.S.C. § 101(31) has proceeded through the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, as mandated by the VJRA.
See generally
 
Cardonav. Shinseki
, No. 11-3083 (Ct. Vet. App.; Notice of Appeal filed Oct. 13, 2011).Because Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by 38 U.S.C. § 511 and thecomprehensive review scheme provided by the VJRA, the House agrees with theExecutive Branch Defendants that this case must be dismissed and that Plaintiffsmust pursue their claims before the Veterans Administration. Section 511 of Title38 precludes the type of forum shopping in which Plaintiffs have engaged by filingtheir suit in this Court.
Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76 Filed 01/22/13 Page 3 of 6 Page ID #:1178

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