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Brief Defending DOMA in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services

Brief Defending DOMA in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services

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Published by Michael Ginsborg
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services, Case No. 1:09-cv-11156-JLT (U.S.Dist.Ct., D. Mass.), posted by Michael Ginsborg for http://prop8legalcommentary.blogspot.com
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services, Case No. 1:09-cv-11156-JLT (U.S.Dist.Ct., D. Mass.), posted by Michael Ginsborg for http://prop8legalcommentary.blogspot.com

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Michael Ginsborg on Nov 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/03/2013

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
COMMONWEALTH OFMASSACHUSETTS,Plaintiff,v.UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OFHEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES;KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, Secretary of theUnited States Department of Health andHuman Services; UNITED STATESDEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS;ERIC K. SHINSEKI, Secretary of the UnitedStates Department of Veterans Affairs; andthe UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,Defendants.))))))))))))))))))Civ. A. No. 1:09-11156-JLT
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS’MOTION TO DISMISS
TONY WESTAssistant Attorney GeneralMICHAEL K. LOUCKSActing United States AttorneyARTHUR R. GOLDBERGAssistant Director, Federal Programs BranchSTEVEN Y. BRESSLER D.C. Bar #482492Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of JusticeCivil Division, Federal Programs BranchP.O. Box 883Washington, D.C. 20044Telephone:(202) 305-0167Facsimile: (202) 318-7609Steven.Bressler@usdoj.gov 
Counsel for Defendants
 
TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE
INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................1BACKGROUND............................................................................................................................5I.The Defense of Marriage Act..............................................................................................5II.The Federal Programs Involved Here.................................................................................6A. The Medicaid Program and Federal Financial Participation...................................6B.The State Cemetery Grants Program.......................................................................9ARGUMENT................................................................................................................................10I.DOMA, AS APPLIED TO MASSACHUSETTS, DOES NOTVIOLATE THE TENTH AMENDMENT........................................................................10A.DOMA Does Not Violate The Tenth Amendment By ImposingLimits On Federal Funding Programs In Which MassachusettsParticipates ...........................................................................................................10B.DOMA’s Effect Upon Tax Code Provisions That Regulate TheCommonwealth “As An Employer” Does Not Intrude On ItsSovereignty Or Violate The Tenth Amendment...................................................14II.DOMA, AS APPLIED TO MASSACHUSETTS THROUGHFEDERAL FUNDING PROGRAMS, DOES NOT VIOLATETHE SPENDING CLAUSE..............................................................................................15A.The Spending Clause Affords Congress Wide Latitude ToLegislate In Furtherance Of Broad Policy Objectives...........................................15B.DOMA Does Not Compel Massachusetts To Infringe UponThe Equal Protection Rights Of Its Citizens.........................................................16C.DOMA Does Not Place Any Impermissible Non-Germane“Conditions” On Federal Financial Assistance To Massachusetts.......................17D.To The Extent DOMA Is Viewed As A Non-ProgrammaticSpending Condition It Is A Permissible, Cross-Cutting Condition......................21i
 
E.Because DOMA Is Consistent With Prevailing Equal ProtectionLaw, It Does Not Impose Any Unconstitutional Condition .................................231.There Is No Fundamental Right To Federal Benefits BasedOn Marital Status......................................................................................252.Under First Circuit Law, DOMA Does Not Rest On AnyRecognized Suspect Classification ..........................................................283.DOMA Satisfies Rational Basis Review..................................................28III.MASSACHUSETTS’ ALLEGATIONS THAT IT “RISKS” SPECULATIVEFUTURE HARM UNDER DOMA DO NOT SUPPORT ARTICLE IIISTANDING......................................................................................................................32CONCLUSION.............................................................................................................................35ii

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