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2:11-cv-00045 #114

2:11-cv-00045 #114

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc #114 - Order setting oral arguments for March 12, 2012
Doc #114 - Order setting oral arguments for March 12, 2012

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Mar 12, 2012
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09/09/2012

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
COZEN OCONNOR, P.C.,:CIVIL ACTION:Plaintiff,:NO. 11-0045:v.::JENNIFER J. TOBITS,
et al 
.:Defendants.:
ORDER 
Before the Court are: (1) David and Joan Farley’s Motion to Dismiss Cross-Claims of Jennifer Tobits (Docket No. 25); Cozen O’Connor, P.C.’s (“Cozen”) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Docket No. 31); Jennifer J. Tobits’s Motion for Judgment on thePleadings (Docket No. 36); and Responses and Replies to each of these Motions. Ms. Tobitsfiled a Notice of Federal Constitutional Question (Docket No. 27) and a Notice of StateConstitutional Question (Docket No. 28). The Court granted leave to intervene in this matter to:(1) the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (“BLAG”) of the U.S. House of Representatives, and
1
(2) the United States. The Court also granted the motions of multiple parties to appear as
2
BLAG has notified the Court that it “functions on a majoritarian basis, like the
1
institution it represents, when consensus cannot be achieved. [BLAG] is currently comprised of the Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker of the House, the Honorable Eric Cantor, MajorityLeader, the Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi,Democratic Leader, and the Honorable Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip.” See BLAG Motionto Intervene at 1. BLAG further stated that “[t]he Democratic Leader and the Democratic Whipdecline[d] to support [the motion to intervene].” Id.The United States initially declined to intervene based on the conclusion that, “because
2
there is some possibility that this case may be resolved without the Court reaching the issue of the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA,” doing so would “be premature.” See U.S.Acknowledgment of Constitutional Challenge at 1. However, after this Court issued its Order Page 1 of 5
Case 2:11-cv-00045-CDJ Document 114 Filed 03/02/12 Page 1 of 5
 
amicus
 
curiae
. At the request of the Court, the parties filed supplemental briefing on relevant
3
constitutional questions. The parties have also filed multiple Requests for Judicial Notice and Notices of Supplemental Authority. Oral argument on the pending motions in this matter isscheduled for March 12, 2012.* * *AND NOW, this 1st day of March, 2012, it is hereby ORDERED that:1.Oral argument on March 12, 2012 shall commence at
1:00 p.m.
2.Argument shall proceed as follows:
4
A.Moving Parties1.Mr. and Mrs. Farley - 45 minutes2.Ms. Tobits - 45 minutes3.Cozen OConnor, P.C. - 45 minutes- 15 minute break -seeking supplemental briefing on constitutional questions, the United States timely moved tointervene as of right and subsequently filed appropriate briefing.These parties include: The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Forum (joint brief);
3
Concerned Women for America; the Frederick Douglass Foundation; Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays; Professor Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan T. Anderson (joint brief);and Gage Raley.Times listed are maximums; parties may take less time if appropriate. Arguments
4
should not be mere recitations of briefs. The parties shall offer presentations that highlight whatthey deem to be the most compelling arguments. The Court also expects the parties to be prepared to address the major arguments against their own positions. The Court will makeinquiries during the presentations as necessary.Page 2 of 5
Case 2:11-cv-00045-CDJ Document 114 Filed 03/02/12 Page 2 of 5
 
B.Intervenors and
 Amici
5
1.Intervenor U.S. House of Representatives - 30 minutes2.Intervenor United States - 30 minutes3.
 Amici
George/Girgis/Anderson - 15 minutes
4.Amicus
Frederick Douglass Foundation - 15 minutes
4.Amici
Human Rights Campaign/Equality Forum - 30 minutes3.The issues to be discussed by the Moving Parties are as follows:
6
A.Whether the Cozen Plan’s choice-of-law provision impacts the definition of “spouse,” and, if so, whether Illinois or Pennsylvania law should be utilized inthat regard.B.Whether the Cozen Plan’s definition of the word “spouse” is ambiguous. If so,whether the Court should consider extrinsic evidence to resolve the ambiguity(and what evidence should be considered).C.What impact, if any, the decisions of the Illinois courts concerning Ms. Tobits’sstatus as Ms. Farley’s heir have on determination of the issues before the Court.The Court has granted leave for a significant number of 
amici
to file briefs in this
5
matter. Those briefs have been well-prepared and are of great assistance to the Court. All
amici
are free to attend this argument. However, the Court, in its discretion and bearing in mindconsiderations of judicial economy, is limiting oral presentations to the parties listed above. Thisshould in no way be interpreted as any judgment as to the arguments submitted in writing byother 
amici
. At the conclusion of the schedule set forth above, the Court may, at its discretion,opt to inquire if any additional
amici
who are present have legal points that are non-cumulativeof prior arguments and briefing which they desire to bring to the Court’s attention. Any suchopportunity shall, not, however, be interpreted as an invitation to discuss non-legal points or reiterate prior argument.Intervenors and
amici
shall limit their presentations to issues they have briefed.
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Page 3 of 5
Case 2:11-cv-00045-CDJ Document 114 Filed 03/02/12 Page 3 of 5

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