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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

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA Western Division ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. 2:12-cv-00887-CBM (AJWx) NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF INTERVENORDEFENDANT TO STAY PROCEEDINGS

4 TRACEY COOPER-HARRIS and 5 MAGGIE COOPER-HARRIS, 6 7 8 v. 9 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., 10 11 12 and 13 BIPARTISAN LEGAL ADVISORY GROUP OF THE U.S. HOUSE 14 OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 Intervenor-Defendant. 16 17 18 Defendants, Plaintiffs,

Hearing: Jan. 28, 2013 Time: 10:00 a.m. Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal

19 Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives (“House”) will move this 20 Court on Monday, January 28, 2013, at 10:00 a.m., or as soon thereafter as counsel 21 may be heard, in the United States District Court for the Central District of 22 California, Western Division, Courtroom 2, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, 23 California 90012, for an order granting the House’s Motion to Stay Proceedings. 24 25 MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and for the reasons set forth

26 in the accompanying Memorandum of Points and Authorities, the House 27 respectfully moves for entry of an order staying all proceedings in this case pending 28
1

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1 the ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Windsor v. United States, No. 122 307. The Supreme Court granted the petition for writ of certiorari on December 7, 3 2012, oral argument will be scheduled in March 2013, and a decision most likely 4 will issue by the end of the current Term in June 2013. 5 6 LOCAL RULE 7-3 STATEMENT On December 12, 2012, counsel for the House contacted Christine Sun and

7 Adam Romero, counsel for plaintiffs, by email. On December 13, 2012, counsel 8 for the House also conferred with Mr. Romero by telephone and by email, and Mr. 9 Romero informed the House that Plaintiffs oppose this motion. 10 On December 12 and 13, 2012, counsel for the House also contacted Jean 11 Lin with the Department of Justice, counsel for the United States of America, 12 Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. 13 Shinseki, who, at the time of filing, had not indicated a position on this motion. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
2 Kerry W. Kircher, as ECF filer of this document, attests that concurrence in the filing of the document has been obtained from signatory H. Christopher Bartolomucci. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which speaks for the House in litigation matters, currently is comprised of the Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker of the House, the Honorable Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, the Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, and the Honorable Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip. The Democratic Leader and the Democratic Whip have declined to support the position taken by the Group on the merits of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this case.
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A proposed Order is submitted herewith and oral argument is not requested. 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

December 13, 2012

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I certify that on December 13, 2012, I electronically filed the foregoing

3 Notice of Motion and Motion of Intervenor-Defendant to Stay Proceedings with 4 the Clerk of Court by using the CM/ECF system, which provided an electronic 5 notice and electronic link of the same to the following attorneys of record through 6 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

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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, Trial Attorney 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 the Executive Branch defendants

/s/ Mary Beth Walker Mary Beth Walker

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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 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Of Counsel: Kerry W. Kircher, General Counsel (DC Bar 386816) Kerry.Kircher@mail.house.gov William Pittard, Deputy General Counsel (DC Bar 482949) William.Pittard@mail.house.gov Christine Davenport, Senior Assistant Counsel (NJ Bar 043682000) Christine.Davenport@mail.house.gov Todd B. Tatelman, Assistant Counsel (VA Bar 66008) Todd.Tatelman@mail.house.gov Mary Beth Walker, Assistant Counsel (DC Bar 501033) MaryBeth.Walker@mail.house.gov Eleni M. Roumel (SC Bar 75763) Eleni.Roumel@mail.house.gov

22 OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 23 219 Cannon House Office Building 24 Washington, D.C. 20515 202-225-9700 (telephone) 25 202-226-1360 (facsimile) 26 Counsel for Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan 27 Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives 28

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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 7 8 9 10 11 12 v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants, and

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF MOTION OF INTERVENORDEFENDANT TO STAY PROCEEDINGS

13 BIPARTISAN LEGAL ADVISORY 14 GROUP OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Intervenor-Defendant.

Hearing: Jan. 28, 2013 Time: 10:00 a.m. Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall

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TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF AUTHORITIES .................................................................. ii

4 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................. 1 5 BACKGROUND .................................................................................... 1 6 ARGUMENT .......................................................................................... 6 7 I. A Stay Pending a Decision in Windsor Will Promote 8 Judicial Economy ............................................................... 8 9 II. There is No Fair Possibility Plaintiffs Will Suffer 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 i Additional Harm if a Stay is Granted ................................. 10 A. Only the Secretary Can Award the Benefits that Plaintiffs Seek ............................................................... 10 B. Any Eventual Award of Compensation Will Date Back to the Filing Date of VA Form 21-686c .............. 12 C. Plaintiffs’ Election of this Forum Over the VA Administrative Process Belies Their Claim of Injury ... 12 CONCLUSION ....................................................................................... 14 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

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1 2 3 4 Statutes

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

1 U.S.C. § 7 ....................................................................................... 1, 4

5 38 U.S.C. § 101 ............................................................................. 1, 4, 8 6 38 U.S.C. § 511 ................................................................... 8, 10, 11, 12 7 The Veterans’ Judicial Review Act, Pub. L. No. 100-687, div. A., 8 102 Stat. 4105 (1988) ............................................................... 10 9 Cases 10 Aetna State Bank v. Altheimer, 11 430 F.2d 750 (7th Cir. 1970) ...................................................... 9 12 Aranas v. Napolitano, 13 No. 8:12-cv-01137 (C.D. Cal.) ................................................... 6 14 Beamon v. Brown, 15 125 F.3d 965 (6th Cir. 1997) .................................................... 11 16 Bipartisan Legal Advisory Grp. of the U.S. House of Representatives v. Gill, 17 No. 12-13 (S. Ct.) ................................................................... 2, 5 18 19 Cardona v. Shinseki, No. 11-3083 (Ct. App. Vet. Cl.) ......................................... 4, 5, 6 20 21 CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265 (9th Cir. 1962) ...................................................... 7 22 23 Colo. River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424 U.S. 800, 96 S. Ct. 1236, 47 L. Ed. 2d 483 (1976) ............. 6 24 Dragovich v. U.S. Dep’t of the Treasury, 25 Nos. 12-16461 & 12-16628 (9th Cir.) .................................... 3, 9 26 Golinski v. U.S. Office of Pers. Mgmt., 27 Nos. 12-15388 & 12-15409 (9th Cir.) ................................ 2, 3, 4 28 ii

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1 Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144 (S. Ct.) ................................................................. 5, 7 2 Hosp. of Barstow, Inc. v. Sebelius, 3 No. 11-cv-10638, 2012 WL 893784 (C.D. Cal.) ...................... 10 4 Landis v. N. Am. Co., 5 299 U.S. 248, 57 S. Ct. 163, 81 L. Ed. 153 (1936) ............ 6, 8, 9 6 Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 7 398 F.3d 1098 (9th Cir. 2005) .................................................... 7 8 Lopez v. Am. Express Bank, FSB, 9 No. 09-cv-07335, 2010 WL 3637755 (C.D. Cal.) .................... 10 10 12 Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., 11 Nos. 10-2204, 10-2207, & 10-2214 (1st Cir.) ............................ 4 Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep’t of HHS, 682 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2012) ........................................................ 2, 4 13 14 Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep’t of HHS, No. 12-97 (S. Ct.) ....................................................................... 2 15 16 McLaughlin v. Panetta, No. 1:11-cv-11905 (D. Mass.) .................................................... 4 17 18 Office of Pers. Mgmt. v. Golinski, No. 12-16 (S. Ct.) ....................................................................... 3 19 20 Office of Pers. Mgmt. v. Pedersen, No. 12-302 (S. Ct.) ..................................................................... 3 21 22 Pedersen. v. Office of Pers. Mgm’t, Nos. 12-3273 & 12-3872 (2d Cir.) ............................................. 3 23 24 Pedersen. v. Office of Pers. Mgmt., No. 12-231 (S. Ct.) ..................................................................... 3 25 26 Shipley v. United States, 608 F.2d 770 (9th Cir. 1979) ...................................................... 9 27 U.S. Dep’t of HHS v. Massachusetts, 28 No. 12-15 (S. Ct.) ....................................................................... 2 iii

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1 United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307 (S. Ct.) ..................................................... 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 2 Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, 3 678 F.3d 1013 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc) .................................. 10 4 Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, 5 No. 12-296 (S. Ct.) ................................................................... 11 6 Windsor v. United States, 7 No. 12-63 (S. Ct.) ....................................................................... 3 8 Windsor v. United States, 9 Nos. 12-2335 & 12-2435 (2d Cir.) ............................................. 3 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 Other Authorities Order List, Supreme Court of the United States (Dec. 7, 2012) ....... 1, 5 Regulations and Other Agency Rules 13 38 C.F.R. § 3.400 (2006) .................................................................... 12

18 Supreme Court Calendar, October Term .............................................. 6 19 Letter from Eric H. Holder, Jr., Att’y Gen., to the Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives 20 (Feb.17, 2012) ............................................................................. 8 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 iv

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

3 House of Representatives (“House”) respectfully brings this motion to stay all 4 proceedings in this case pending a ruling by the Supreme Court on the 5 constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. § 7 6 (“DOMA”). On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court granted a petition for writ 7 of certiorari in United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307. See Order List, Supreme 8 Court of the United States (Dec. 7, 2012), http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/ 9 courtorders/120712zr_3f14.pdf (“Order List”). The Windsor petition specifically 10 seeks constitutional review of DOMA Section 3, the identical question before the 11 Court in this case. See Pet. for a Writ of Cert. Before J. at *I, United States v. 12 Windsor, No. 12-307 (S. Ct. Sept. 11, 2012), 2012 WL 3991414 (“Windsor 13 Petition”) (“The question presented is: Whether Section 3 of DOMA violates the 14 Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons 15 of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State.”). Because 16 of the substantial likelihood that the Supreme Court will rule on the 17 constitutionality of DOMA Section 3 by the end of the current Supreme Court 18 Term, because Plaintiffs can prevail only if DOMA Section 3 is found 19 unconstitutional, and because Plaintiffs can present no credible claim of harm that 20 they would suffer from a delay until the Supreme Court decides the Windsor case, 21 likely in June 2013, this case should be stayed until the Supreme Court’s 22 disposition of Windsor. 23 24 BACKGROUND Plaintiffs Tracey Cooper-Harris and Maggie Cooper-Harris, a same-sex

25 couple married under California law, challenge on equal protection grounds, and in 26 the context of a claim for certain veterans benefits, the constitutionality of (i) 27 Section 3 of DOMA and (ii) 38 U.S.C. § 101(3) & (31). See Compl. for 28 1

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1 Declaratory, Injunctive, & Other Relief ¶¶ 3, 6-11, 65, 69, Prayer for Relief (Feb. 2 1, 2012) (ECF No. 1) (“Complaint”). 3 On May 29, 2012, the House filed a motion to stay this case pending the 4 outcome of Golinski v. U.S. Office of Pers. Mgmt., Nos. 12-15388 & 12-15409, a 5 consolidated appeal pending in the Ninth Circuit. See Notice of Mot. & Mot. of 6 [House] to Stay Proceedings (May 29, 2012) (ECF No. 39) (“First Stay Motion”). 7 Plaintiffs opposed the stay, Pls.’ Mem. of L. in Opp’n to [House]’s Mot. to Stay 8 (June 18, 2012) (ECF No. 42) (“Pls.’ Opp’n”), and the Court entered an order 9 denying the House’s motion on August 3, 2012. In Chambers Order (Aug. 3, 10 2012) (ECF No. 50). 11 At the time the House first sought a stay in this case, no petition for a writ of 12 certiorari regarding the question of the constitutionality of DOMA Section 3 had 13 been filed with the Supreme Court. Since that time, eight petitions in four different 14 cases were filed regarding that question: 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28  On June 29, 2012, the House asked the Supreme Court to review the First Circuit’s decision in Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep’t of HHS, 682 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2012). See Pet. for a Writ of Cert., Bipartisan Legal Advisory Grp. of the U.S. House of Representatives v. Gill, No. 12-13 (S. Ct. June 29, 2012), 2012 WL 2586935.  On July 3, 2012, the Executive Branch parties petitioned for a writ of certiorari in the same case. See Pet. for a Writ of Cert., U.S. Dep’t of HHS v. Massachusetts, No. 12-15 (S. Ct. July 3, 2012), 2012 WL 2586937.  On July 20, 2012, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts filed a “conditional” cross-petition for writ of certiorari in the same case. See Conditional Cross-Pet. for a Writ of Cert., Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep’t of HHS, No. 12-97 (S. Ct. July 20, 2012), 2012 WL 3027167.  On July 3, 2012, the Executive Branch party in Golinski v. U.S. Office of 2

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Pers. Mgmt., Nos. 15388 & 15409 (9th Cir.), petitioned for pre-judgment Supreme Court review in that case. See Pet. for a Writ of Cert. Before J., Office of Pers. Mgmt. v. Golinski, No. 12-16 (S. Ct. July 3, 2012), 2012 WL 2586938.1  On July 16, 2012, the plaintiff in Windsor v. United States, Nos. 12-2335 & 12-2435 (2d Cir.), petitioned for pre-judgment Supreme Court review in that case. See Pet. for a Writ of Cert. Before J., Windsor v. United States, No. 12-63 (S. Ct. July 16, 2012), 2012 WL 2904038.  On September 11, 2012, the Executive Branch parties petitioned for a writ of certiorari in the same case. See Windsor Pet.  On August 21, 2012, the plaintiffs in Pedersen. v. Office of Pers. Mgm’t, Nos. 12-3273 & 12-3872 (2d Cir.), petitioned for pre-judgment Supreme Court review in that case. See Pet. for a Writ of Cert. Before J., Pedersen. v. Office of Pers. Mgmt., No. 12-231 (S. Ct. Aug. 21, 2012), 2012 WL 3613467.  And, on September 11, 2012, the Executive Branch parties petitioned for a writ of certiorari in the same case. See Pet. for a Writ of Cert. Before J., Office of Pers. Mgmt. v. Pedersen, No. 12-302 (S. Ct. Sept. 11, 2012), 2012 WL 3991479. The Ninth Circuit recently stayed two DOMA Section 3 appeals pending a

21 decision by the Supreme Court on the petitions. See Order, Dragovich v. U.S. 22 Dep’t of the Treasury, Nos. 12-16461 & 12-16628 (9th Cir. Sept. 21, 2012) (ECF 23 No. 12) (briefing stayed until at least February 26, 2013); Order, Golinski v. U.S. 24 Office of Pers. Mgmt., Nos. 12-15388 & 12-15409 (9th Cir. July 27, 2012) (ECF 25 No. 147) (case “held in abeyance pending resolution” of the writ of certiorari then 26
Karen Golinski, the plaintiff-appellee in that case, supported the Executive Branch party’s request for pre-judgment review. See Br. of the Resp’t in Supp. of Pet. for Cert. Before 28 J., Office of Pers. Mgmt. v. Golinski, No. 12-16 (S. Ct. July 25, 2012), 2012 WL 3027182.

27

1

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1 before the Supreme Court and, if certiorari is granted, “pending determination of 2 the case on the merits”); see also Golinski v. U.S. Office of Pers. Mgmt., Nos. 123 15388 & 12-15409 (9th Cir. Dec. 11, 2012) (ECF No. 156) (case “held in abeyance 4 pending the decision of the United States Supreme Court in United States v. 5 Windsor, No. 12-307”). Another case challenging both DOMA Section 3 and 38 6 U.S.C. § 101(3) & (31) filed last October in the District of Massachusetts, 7 McLaughlin v. Panetta, No. 1:11-cv-11905 (D. Mass.),2 has been stayed since 8 February 27, 2012, and will be stayed pending the First Circuit’s Mandate in 9 Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 682 F.3d 1 (1st 10 Cir. 2012) – a case that considered the issue of DOMA Section 3’s 11 constitutionality under the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause. 12 See Electronic Order, McLaughlin v. Panetta, No. 1:11-cv-11905 (D. Mass. Feb. 13 15, 2012) (granting joint motion to stay case for 60 days); Electronic Order, 14 McLaughlin v. Panetta, No. 1:11-cv-11905 (D. Mass. June 6, 2012) (granting 15 opposed motion to stay until 30 days after First Circuit issues its mandate in 16 Massachusetts v. HHS). Likewise, the First Circuit’s Mandate in Massachusetts is 17 stayed “pending further order” of that court. Judgment, Massachusetts v. U.S. 18 Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., Nos. 10-2204, 10-2207, & 10-2214 (1st Cir. May 19 31, 2012) (ECF No. 5645272). Additionally, in the case of Cardona v. Shinseki, 20 the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims – which the House believes is the proper 21 venue for Plaintiffs to have brought this action – recently granted the House’s 22 motion to postpone oral argument that had been scheduled for November 29, 2012, 23 for forty-five days to allow the Supreme Court to act on the eight Petitions as it 24 now has. See Order, Cardona v. Shinseki, No. 11-3083 (Ct. App. Vet. Cl. Nov. 15, 25 2012). In so ordering, the Court contemplated further staying the case in the 26
McLaughlin, like this case, challenges DOMA Section 3 and 38 U.S.C. § 101(3) & (31) 27 (among other provisions) on equal protection grounds. See Compl. for Declaratory, Injunctive and Other Relief ¶¶ 3, 13, 14, 128, 139, 144; “WHEREFORE” Clauses (a), (b), McLaughlin v. 28 Panetta, No. 1:11-cv-11905 (D. Mass. Oct. 27, 2011) (ECF No. 1).
2

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1 interest of judicial efficiency “pending the issuance of [the Supreme Court’s] 2 decision considering the constitutionality of DOMA.” Id. at 2. As with 3 McLaughlin and the instant case, Cardona challenges both DOMA Section 3 and 4 38 U.S.C. § 101(31) on equal protection grounds. 5 On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court considered the eight petitions 6 presenting the question of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality. See, e.g., Docket, 7 Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives v. Gill, No. 8 12-13, available at http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/ 9 docketfiles/12-13.htm. On the same day, the Supreme Court issued an order 10 granting certiorari in United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307. See Order List. The 11 central question before the Supreme Court in Windsor is identical to one of the two 12 presented here: “Whether Section 3 of DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment’s 13 guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who 14 are legally married under the laws of their State.”3 Windsor Pet. at *I. The 15 Supreme Court did not act on the other seven petitions, effectively holding them in 16 abeyance, presumably pending a decision in Windsor. 17 On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court also granted a petition for a writ 18 of certiorari in Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144. See Order List. Perry seeks 19 review of the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that 20 amended the California Constitution to provide that: “Only marriage between a 21 man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” See Pet. for a Writ of Cert. 22 at *2, Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144 (S. Ct. July 30, 2012), 2012 WL 23 3109489. The question presented by the petition in Perry is: “Whether the Equal 24 Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California 25 26
The Supreme Court will also consider two additional questions: (1) whether the Executive Branch’s agreement with the court below that DOMA is unconstitutional deprives this 27 Court of jurisdiction to decide this case; and (2) whether intervenor-defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives has Article III defendant 28 standing in Windsor.
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1 from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” Id. at *i. 2 The Supreme Court likely will hear oral argument on DOMA Section 3 3 during the March 2013 argument session, and the Court almost certainly will issue 4 a decision before it recesses in late June. See Supreme Court Calendar, October 5 Term 2012, available at http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/ 6 2012termcourtcalendar.pdf (June 24, 2012, is last currently-scheduled non7 argument day before Court recesses for remainder of Term). On the same 8 schedule, the Supreme Court will consider in Perry whether a state constitutionally 9 can define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. 10 11 ARGUMENT Currently, there are 11 cases challenging the constitutionality of DOMA

12 Section 3 pending in the U.S. District Courts or Courts of Appeals.4 Except for 13 this case and Aranas v. Napolitano, No. 8:12-cv-01137 (C.D. Cal.), all of these 14 cases have either been stayed or have fully-briefed dispositive motions pending 15 (which were pending before the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in Windsor). 16 This Court has substantial discretion to grant a stay. “[T]he power to stay 17 proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the 18 disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, 19 for counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254, 57 S. Ct. 20 163, 81 L. Ed. 153 (1936); see also Colo. River Water Conservation Dist. v. United 21 States, 424 U.S. 800, 817, 96 S. Ct. 1236, 47 L. Ed. 2d 483 (1976) (federal court’s 22 decision whether to abstain from a case “rest[s] on considerations of ‘[w]ise 23 judicial administration, giving regard to conservation of judicial resources and 24 comprehensive disposition of litigation’”). 25 27 28 for Veterans Claims. See Cardona v. Shinseki, No. 11-3083. 6
4

The determination of whether to grant a stay “calls for the exercise of

26 judgment, which must weigh competing interests and maintain an even balance.”
As noted above, there is one additional case currently pending in the Court of Appeals

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1 Landis, 299 U.S. at 254-55. In determining whether a stay is appropriate, the 2 Court should consider (1) the possible damage which may result from granting the 3 stay; (2) the hardship to the parties if the suit is allowed to proceed; and (3) the 4 “‘orderly course of justice measured in terms of the simplifying or complicating of 5 issues, proof, and questions of law which could be expected to result from a stay.’” 6 Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1110 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting CMAX, Inc. 7 v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962)). These factors counsel in favor of a 8 stay in this case. 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7 ● ● ● ● This Court should stay consideration of this case pending a ruling by the ● the identical issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality under the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause presented in this case is before the Supreme Court in Windsor; the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear and consider Windsor before the end of its current Term; the Supreme Court’s ruling in Windsor likely will be dispositive of this Court’s disposition of Plaintiffs’ equal protection claim as to DOMA Section 3, which well could be dispositive of Plaintiffs’ entire case, and will, at a minimum, substantially inform this Court’s analysis of Plaintiffs’ Title 38 claim; this Term in Perry, the Supreme Court also is scheduled to hear and consider the question of whether a state constitutionally can define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, the answer to which undoubtedly will inform, and possibly could control, the outcome of the Title 38 question in this case; Plaintiffs can prevail here only if this Court holds unconstitutional both DOMA Section 3 and the Title 38 provisions; and 10 Supreme Court in Windsor because:

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1 2 3 4 I. 5

Plaintiffs can make no credible claim of harm from the short delay occasioned by awaiting the decisions of the Supreme Court in Windsor and Perry.

A Stay Pending a Decision in Windsor Will Promote Judicial Economy. The overriding consideration here is that the DOMA Section 3 issue being

6 considered by the Supreme Court in Windsor is legally identical to the DOMA 7 Section 3 issue raised by the Plaintiffs here. Accordingly, a ruling by the Supreme 8 Court in Windsor on the merits of Section 3’s constitutionality directly will control 9 this Court’s determination of the merits of Plaintiffs’ DOMA Section 3 claim. If 10 the Supreme Court were to uphold the constitutionality of DOMA Section 3, 11 Plaintiffs’ case would be over, because Plaintiffs can prevail only if both DOMA 12 Section 3 and the Title 38 provisions they challenge are found to be 13 unconstitutional. That is, if DOMA Section 3 is found constitutional by the 14 Supreme Court, this Court would have no occasion to reach Plaintiffs’ Title 38 15 claim.5 16 Even if a Supreme Court ruling on DOMA Section 3 is not dispositive of this 17 case in its entirety (i.e., if the Supreme Court were to find DOMA Section 3 18 unconstitutional), the decision by the Supreme Court necessarily will be dispositive 19 of the DOMA Section 3 claim in this case. Moreover, because the definitional 20 language in 38 U.S.C. § 101(3) & (31) differs so little from the language of DOMA 21 Section 3,6 the ruling in Windsor likely will shed considerable light on the question 22 of the constitutionality of 38 U.S.C. § 101(3) & (31). See Landis, 299 U.S. at 256 23 (“[A] decision in the cause then pending [elsewhere] may not settle every question 24 25 27
As a practical matter, this Court also would not need to reach the question of whether it has jurisdiction to hear this case under 38 U.S.C. § 511 because it would be clear on the face of 26 Plaintiffs’ Complaint that their claims fail based on DOMA Section 3 alone. See Letter from Eric H. Holder, Jr., Att’y Gen., to the Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives at 2 (Feb.17, 2012) (equating 38 U.S.C. § 101 (3) & (31) 28 with DOMA Section 3), attached as Ex. 3 to Notice to the Ct. (Feb. 24, 2012) (ECF No. 16).
6 5

8

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1 of fact and law in suits by other [parties], but in all likelihood it will settle many and 2 simplify them all.”). Any decision in Perry regarding the constitutionality of the 3 state definition of marriage as between a man and a woman also undoubtedly will 4 inform this Court’s consideration of Plaintiffs’ Title 38 claim. 5 This case has been pending before this Court only since February 1, 2012. 6 The question of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality was first presented to the 7 Supreme Court on June 29, 2012, and will be argued in March 2013. The scope of 8 the proposed stay is not “immoderate” because the length of the stay is almost 9 certain to conclude with a decision by the Supreme Court, which is expected by the 10 time the Court recesses in late June 2013. See Landis, 299 U.S. at 257 (a stay is 11 immoderate and unlawful unless appropriately limited). 12 This Court should follow the Ninth Circuit’s lead in Dragovich and Golinski 13 and postpone briefing and argument on the merits pending a final decision by the 14 Supreme Court in the Windsor and Perry cases.7 Such a stay makes sense for this 15 Court and makes sense for the parties to ‘“avoid[] unnecessary duplication of 16 judicial machinery.”’ Shipley v. United States, 608 F.2d 770, 775 (9th Cir. 1979) 17 (quoting Aetna State Bank v. Altheimer, 430 F.2d 750, 755 (7th Cir. 1970), 18 overruled on other grounds by Calvert Fire Ins. Co. v. Will, 560 F.2d 792 (7th Cir. 19 1977) (district court properly stayed case, but opinion overruled once stay 20 continued beyond a ruling by Supreme Court), judgment reversed by Will v. 21 Calvert Fire Ins. Co., 437 U.S. 655, 98 S. Ct. 2552, 57 L. Ed. 2d 504 (1978)). 22 A stay pending resolution of Windsor and Perry will allow this Court to 23 substantially narrow the issues in this case. This Court and the parties will be 24 better served by preserving scarce judicial and government resources (including 25 taxpayer dollars) by waiting for the Supreme Court to answer the question of 26
7

27 Circuit has stayed that case notwithstanding the other claim in that case. See Order, Dragovich v. U.S. Dep’t of the Treasury, Nos. 12-16461 & 12-16628 (9th Cir. Sept. 21, 2012) (ECF No. 28 12). 9

Notably, Dragovich, like this case, involves a non-DOMA Section 3 claim. The Ninth

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1 DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality. See, e.g., Hosp. of Barstow, Inc. v. Sebelius, 2 No. 11-cv-10638, 2012 WL 893784, at *2-3 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2012) (granting 3 HHS Secretary’s motion for stay where issues in case were before Ninth Circuit in 4 another case; stay would promote judicial economy). As such, the prudential 5 course is for this Court to stay the case until the Supreme Court has an opportunity 6 to address the constitutionality of DOMA Section 3. Moreover, to require the 7 parties to proceed to dispositive motion briefing that will, at a minimum, almost 8 certainly need to be revised in a few short months will place an unnecessary 9 burden on all parties who will be forced to expend additional time and resources 10 re-litigating the issues before this Court. Under these circumstances, the balance 11 tips decidedly in favor of a stay. See Lopez v. Am. Express Bank, FSB, No. 09-cv12 07335, 2010 WL 3637755, at *4 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 17, 2010) (even though plaintiffs 13 faced a “fair possibility” they would be harmed, case stayed pending Supreme 14 Court resolution of “a separate judicial proceeding that [would] directly affect the 15 case at hand”). 16 II. 17 18 19 There is No Fair Possibility Plaintiffs Will Suffer Additional Harm if a Stay is Granted. A. Only the Secretary Can Award the Benefits that Plaintiffs Seek.

Plaintiffs do not seek an award of benefits in this case, and with good

20 reason. The Veterans’ Judicial Review Act, Pub. L. No. 100-687, div. A., 102 21 Stat. 4105 (1988) (“VJRA”), codified at various sections in Title 38, confers 22 exclusive jurisdiction on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (“Secretary”) to “decide 23 all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law 24 that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents 25 or survivors of veterans.” 38 U.S.C. § 511;8 see also Veterans for Common Sense 26 27 28
8

38 U.S.C. § 511 states, in pertinent part:

(a) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans. (Continued . . .)

10

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1 v. Shinseki, 678 F.3d 1013, 1025 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc) (“§ 511 precludes 2 jurisdiction over a claim if it requires the district court to review VA decisions that 3 relate to benefits decisions, including any decision made by the Secretary in the 4 course of making benefits determinations.” (quotation marks and citations 5 omitted)).9 Because the VJRA confers exclusive jurisdiction on the Secretary over 6 benefits claims, this Court has no jurisdiction to order an award of benefits by the 7 VA to Plaintiff Tracey Cooper-Harris nor to order that the VA be bound by its 8 determination of Plaintiffs’ constitutional claims. See 38 U.S.C. § 511 (explicitly 9 prohibiting review by way of writ of mandamus); Beamon v. Brown, 125 F.3d 965, 10 971 (6th Cir. 1997) (“[T]he VJRA explicitly granted comprehensive and exclusive 11 jurisdiction to the [Court of Veterans Appeals] and the Federal Circuit over claims 12 seeking review of VA decisions that relate to benefits decisions under § 511(a). 13 This jurisdiction includes constitutional issues . . . .”). In other words, regardless 14 of the outcome of this case, Plaintiff Tracey Cooper-Harris must seek a 15 determination of her right to receive additional dependent benefits through the 16 administrative review process of the VA. 17 19 20 21
Subject to subsection (b), the decision of the Secretary as to any such question shall be final and conclusive and may not be reviewed by any other official or by any court, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise.

The injunctive relief that Plaintiffs seek here in the form of an order that

18 their “marriage . . . be recognized by the federal government,” which they suggest

22 (emphases added). 9 23 A petition for a writ of certiorari in Veterans for Common Sense, filed on September 5, 24 whether 38 U.S.C. § 511 precludes jurisdiction from federal district courts over systemic 25 challenges to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ failures to provide timely
2012, currently is pending before the Supreme Court. The petition presents the question of

medical benefits and to resolve in a timely manner claims for service-connected death and 26 disability benefits. See Pet. for a Writ of Cert., Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, No. 12296 (S. Ct. Sept. 5, 2012), 2012 WL 3902592. A response to this petition was filed on 27 November 30, 2012, and the case has distributed for the January 4, 2013 conference. See Docket, Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, No. 12-296, available at 28 http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/12-296.htm.

11

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1 will have the effect of conferring benefits, Pls’ Opp’n at 20, plainly is barred by the 2 VJRA. See 38 U.S.C. § 511. Thus, the very most that Plaintiffs can obtain in this 3 case is declaratory relief which will not result in an award of additional benefits. 4 5 6 B. Any Eventual Award of Compensation Will Date Back to the Filing Date of VA Form 21-686c.

Plaintiffs are aware that benefits only can be awarded by the VA. Indeed,

7 they candidly acknowledge that Plaintiff Tracey Cooper-Harris already has a 8 concurrent administrative claim on file. See Pls.’ Opp’n at 8 n.2. 9 The VA’s regulations provide that an award of disability compensation dates 10 from the date of receipt of the claim. See 38 C.F.R. § 3.400 (2006) (“Except as 11 otherwise provided, the effective date of an evaluation and award of . . . 12 compensation . . . based on . . . a claim for increase will be the date of receipt of 13 the claim or the date entitlement arose, whichever is the later.”). Accordingly, if 14 the VA ultimately awards Plaintiff Tracey Cooper-Harris dependent benefit 15 compensation based on her marriage to Plaintiff Maggie Cooper-Harris, Tracey 16 will be entitled to those benefits from the filing date of VA Form 21-686c. See 38 17 C.F.R. § 3.400. 18 In short, any insistence by Plaintiffs that they will lose benefits during the 19 pendency of a stay, is inaccurate. Rather, if Plaintiff Tracey Cooper-Harris 20 ultimately is awarded these benefits through the VA administrative process, the 21 benefits will be awarded from April 19, 2011, onward. See Compl. ¶ 40; see also 22 38 C.F.R. § 3.400. 23 24 25 C. Plaintiffs’ Election of this Forum Over the VA Administrative Process Belies Their Claim of Injury.

Because the VA has exclusive jurisdiction to award benefits, Plaintiffs’ road

26 to any potential benefits award necessarily runs through that venue. But the lack of 27 dispatch with which Plaintiffs have prosecuted their VA claim demonstrates that a 28 stay here would work minimal, if any, additional harm to them. Plaintiff Tracey 12

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1 Cooper-Harris filed VA Form 21-686c on April 19, 2011. Compl. ¶ 40. Plaintiffs 2 delayed for six months after they received their second VA Regional Office letter on 3 August 8, 2011, to file their Complaint in this case. Compl. ¶ 43. They also waited 4 seven months to appeal that same decision to the Board of Veterans Appeals. See 5 id.; Pls.’ Opp’n at 8 n.2 (“On March 19, 2012, Tracey filed VA Form 9, appealing 6 the VA Regional Office’s denial of her claim to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals 7 . . . .”). Finally, Plaintiff Tracey Cooper-Harris apparently sought a stay of her VA 8 claim pending resolution of this case, id., which has resulted in further delay. 9 In other words, Plaintiffs made a series of strategic decisions that has resulted 10 in their benefits adjudication being substantially delayed before the VA. Their 11 protracted procedural maneuverings including a decision to “not seek[] damages 12 here,” Pls.’ Opp’n at 20; see also Compl. at “Prayer for Relief”, in an apparent effort 13 to preserve this Court’s jurisdiction. After choosing this much slower method of 14 resolving their claims, Plaintiffs are hardly in a position to complain that they will be 15 injured if this Court chooses to await the Supreme Court’s likely judgment on 16 DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality before proceeding on Plaintiffs’ challenge to 17 that very same statute. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 13

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1 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 December 13, 2012 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 3 be granted.

CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the House’s Motion to Stay Proceedings should Respectfully submitted, By: /s/ H. Christopher Bartolomucci H. Christopher Bartolomucci BANCROFT PLLC10 Counsel for Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives

Kerry W. Kircher, as ECF filer of this document, attests that concurrence in the filing 28 of the document has been obtained from signatory H. Christopher Bartolomucci.

10

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1 2

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I certify that on December 13, 2012, I electronically filed the foregoing

3 Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion of Intervenor4 Defendant to Stay Proceedings with the Clerk of Court by using the CM/ECF 5 system, which provided an electronic notice and electronic link of the same to the 6 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

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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, Trial Attorney 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 the Executive Branch defendants

/s/ Mary Beth Walker Mary Beth Walker

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Filed 12/13/12 Page 1 of 1 Page ID

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

4 TRACEY COOPER-HARRIS and 5 MAGGIE COOPER-HARRIS, 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., 10 11 12 13 BIPARTISAN LEGAL ADVISORY GROUP OF THE U.S. HOUSE 14 OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 Intervenor-Defendant. 16 17 18 and Defendants, v. Plaintiffs,

UPON CONSIDERATION OF the Motion of Intervenor-Defendant to Stay

19 Proceedings (“Motion”), the opposition, if any, and the entire record herein, it is by 20 this Court this ____ day of _________, 2013, hereby ORDERED 21 22 That the Motion is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED That this case is stayed STAYED pending the ruling of the United States

23 Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307. 24 25 26 27 28 ___________________________ Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall United States District Judge

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