(San Francisco, December 22, 2009) — Chief Judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Alex Kozinski today issued an order confirming that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) has failed to appeal in a timely fashion from his prior order that a married lesbian court employee is entitled to spousal health insurance for her wife.12/22/09 Volokh Conspiracy, by appellate attorney John Elwood:
In the latest installment of Chief Judge Kozinski vs. DOJ(OLC)/OPM, discussed in my post below, Chief Judge Kozinski issued yet another order today, in apparent response to OPM’s statement on Friday refusing, based on DOJ/OLC’s advice, not to abide by his earlier orders.12/22/09 Crime and Federalism (by an unnamed "Pepperdine law grad and scholar of the law of Section 1983"):
12/27/09 Not A Potted Plant, by an unnamed attorney:
Kozinski is being subtle, and writing something only lawyers can love. In real-life language, Judge Kozinski is making it very clear that denying Ms. Golinski her benefits will be a refusal to obey a federal court order. Shots across the bow.
I authorize Ms. Golinski to take what further action she deems fit against any entity [without awaiting the result of a related appeal not involving OPM].
Kozinski is kindly inviting Ms. Golinski to bring a contempt action against the Obama Administration for refusing to obey a federal court order. This is going to get good.
(The attorney-author claims that if Golinski seeks and obtains a writ of mandamus against the OPM, that result would place her procedurally in the same position she already occupies. I disagree.)
The OPM has said that it will not comply with Kozinski's prior order. Karen Golinski, a 9th Circuit court staff attorney, has no other remedy than to file a lawsuit in federal district court, a prospect Kozinski clearly contemplates. California attorney Rick Xiao has observed that such a lawsuit would afford another opportunity to challenge the federal DOMA.