Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oral arguments this week in Gill v. OPM; DOJ files brief in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. Health & Human Services

Section 3 of the federal DOMA (codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7) excludes same-sex couples from federal laws that apply to married couples. On May 6th, U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro will hold oral arguments in Gill v. OPM on the constitutionality of Section 3. (04/08/10 GLAD press release / 05/02/10 Boston Globe) The Maine Sunday Telegram profiles Mary L. Bonauto, who was lead counsel in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health and will argue on behalf of the plaintiffs. The Perry case has received disproportionate attention from the media and blogs (including this one!), as attorneys for the Perry plaintiffs secure a place among the 2010 "Time 100." But Gill v. OPM will have an impact no less far-reaching than Perry, especially if the Gill plaintiffs prevail.

The Department of Justice filed a brief in another DOMA challenge, Commonwealth v. Dept. of Health & Human Services. ( In its brief, DoJ opposes the Commonwealth's motion for summary judgment (National Law Journal) Among other arguments against Section 3, the Commonwealth claims that it violates the 10th Amendment's guarantee of the state's exclusive authority over marriage.

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