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2:12-cv-00887 #76

2:12-cv-00887 #76

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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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Published by: Equality Case Files on Feb 01, 2013
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03/27/2015

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Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76

Filed 01/22/13 Page 1 of 6 Page ID #:1176

1 Paul D. Clement (DC Bar 433215) pclement@bancroftpllc.com 2 H. Christopher Bartolomucci (DC Bar 453423) 3 cbartolomucci@bancroftpllc.com Nicholas J. Nelson (DC Bar 1001696) 4 nnelson@bancroftpllc.com 5 Michael H. McGinley (DC Bar 1006943) mmcginley@bancroftpllc.com 6 7 BANCROFT PLLC 1919 M Street, N.W. 8 Suite 470 9 Washington, D.C. 20036 10 202-234-0090 (telephone) 202-234-2806 (facsimile) 11 12 Of Counsel: Kerry W. Kircher, General Counsel (DC Bar 386816) 13 Kerry.Kircher@mail.house.gov 14 William Pittard, Deputy General Counsel (DC Bar 482949) William.Pittard@mail.house.gov 15 Christine Davenport, Senior Assistant Counsel (NJ Bar 043682000) 16 Christine.Davenport@mail.house.gov Todd B. Tatelman, Assistant Counsel (VA Bar 66008) 17 Todd.Tatelman@mail.house.gov 18 Mary Beth Walker, Assistant Counsel (DC Bar 501033) MaryBeth.Walker@mail.house.gov 19 Eleni M. Roumel (SC Bar 75763) 20 Eleni.Roumel@mail.house.gov 21 OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL, 22 U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 219 Cannon House Office Building 23 Washington, D.C. 20515 24 202-225-9700 (telephone) 202-226-1360 (facsimile) 25 26 Counsel for Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives 27 28

Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76

Filed 01/22/13 Page 2 of 6 Page ID #:1177

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA Western Division ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. 2:12-cv-00887-CBM (AJWx)

4 TRACEY COOPER-HARRIS and MAGGIE COOPER-HARRIS, 5 Plaintiffs, 6 v. 7 8 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., 9 10 11 and 12 BIPARTISAN LEGAL ADVISORY GROUP OF THE U.S. HOUSE 13 OF REPRESENTATIVES, 14 15 16 Intervenor-Defendant. Defendants,

RESPONSE OF INTERVENORDEFENDANT IN SUPPORT OF “FEDERAL DEFENDANTS’” MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION Hearing: Feb. 25, 2013 Time: 10:00 a.m. Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall

Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S.

17 House of Representatives (“House”) respectfully submits this response in support 18 of the Motion of Defendants the United States of America, Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 19 Attorney General of the United States, and Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of the 20 Department of Veterans Affairs (collectively “Executive Branch Defendants”) to 21 Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (Dec. 13, 2012) (ECF No. 68). 22 The House agrees that this case should be dismissed for lack of subject matter 23 jurisdiction. As confirmed by the Ninth Circuit’s recent en banc decision in 24 Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki (“VCS”), 678 F.3d 1013, 1025 (9th Cir. 25 2012) (en banc), pet. for cert. denied No. 12-296, 2013 WL 57122 (U.S. Jan. 7, 26 2012), this Court’s review of Plaintiffs’ equal protection challenge is barred by the 27 Veterans’ Judicial Review Act (“VJRA”), Pub. L. No. 100-687, div. A, 102 Stat. 28 4105 (1988), codified at various sections in Title 38. 1

Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76

Filed 01/22/13 Page 3 of 6 Page ID #:1178

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The VJRA creates an exclusive statutory scheme for review of all veterans’

2 benefits claims, requiring that “[t]he Secretary . . . decide all questions of law and 3 fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary . . . that affects the provision of 4 benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans.” 5 38 U.S.C. § 511; see also VCS, 678 F.3d at 1020 (“In cases involving benefits 6 owed to veterans, Congress has created a scheme conferring exclusive jurisdiction 7 over claims affecting veterans’ benefits to some federal courts, while denying all 8 other federal courts any jurisdiction over such claims.” (emphases added)). 9 Although “nothing in the VJRA forecloses judicial review of constitutional 10 questions,” VCS, 678 at 1031, the VJRA vests judicial review in the Court of 11 Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, not 12 the district courts. See 38 U.S.C. §§ 7252(a), 7261(a), 7292(c). 13 Notably, another pending case involving a challenge to the constitutionality

14 of DOMA Section 3 and 38 U.S.C. § 101(31) has proceeded through the Court of 15 Appeals for Veterans Claims, as mandated by the VJRA. See generally Cardona 16 v. Shinseki, No. 11-3083 (Ct. Vet. App.; Notice of Appeal filed Oct. 13, 2011). 17 Because Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by 38 U.S.C. § 511 and the

18 comprehensive review scheme provided by the VJRA, the House agrees with the 19 Executive Branch Defendants that this case must be dismissed and that Plaintiffs 20 must pursue their claims before the Veterans Administration. Section 511 of Title 21 38 precludes the type of forum shopping in which Plaintiffs have engaged by filing 22 their suit in this Court. 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76

Filed 01/22/13 Page 4 of 6 Page ID #:1179

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 January 22, 2013 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
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Respectfully submitted, By: /s/ H. Christopher Bartolomucci H. Christopher Bartolomucci BANCROFT PLLC1 Counsel for Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives2

24 of the document has been obtained from signatory H. Christopher Bartolomucci. 2 25 The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which speaks for the House in litigation matters, 26 Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, the Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip, the Honorable 27 Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, and the Honorable Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip. The
currently is comprised of the Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker of the House, the Honorable

Kerry W. Kircher, as ECF filer of this document, attests that concurrence in the filing

Democratic Leader and the Democratic Whip have declined to support the position taken by the 28 Group on the merits of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this case.

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Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76

Filed 01/22/13 Page 5 of 6 Page ID #:1180

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I certify that on January 22, 2013, I electronically filed the foregoing

3 Response of Intervenor-Defendant in Support of “Federal Defendants’” Motion to 4 Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction with the Clerk of Court by using 5 the CM/ECF system, which provided an electronic notice and electronic link of the 6 same to the following attorneys of record through the Court’s CM/ECF system: 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Caren E. Short, Esquire Christine P. Sun, Esquire Joseph J. Levin, Jr., Esquire SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER 400 Washington Avenue Montgomery, Alabama 36104 caren.short@splcenter.org christine.sun@splcenter.org joe.levin@splcenter.org Counsel for Plaintiffs Adam P. Romero, Esquire Rubina Ali, Esquire WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE & DORR LLP 7 World Trade Center New York City, New York 10007 adam.romero@wilmerhale.com rubina.ali@wilmerhale.com Counsel for Plaintiffs Eugene Marder, Esquire WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE & DORR LLP 950 Page Mill Road Palo Alto, California 94304 eugene.marder@wilmerhale.com Counsel for Plaintiffs

Case 2:12-cv-00887-CBM-AJW Document 76

Filed 01/22/13 Page 6 of 6 Page ID #:1181

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Randall R. Lee, Esquire Matthew D. Benedetto, Esquire WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE & DORR LLP 350 South Grand Avenue Suite 2100 Los Angeles, California 90071 randall.lee@wilmerhale.com matthew.benedetto@wilmerhale.com Counsel for Plaintiffs Jean Lin, Senior Trial Counsel U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Civil Division - Federal Programs Branch 20 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest Washington, District of Columbia 20530 jean.lin@usdoj.gov Counsel for Executive Branch Defendants

/s/ Mary Beth Walker Mary Beth Walker

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