As the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is (hopefully) hopefully underway, with a possible certification by top Pentagon officials in the coming days, CRCL would be remiss if we failed to applaud the Department of Justice’s recent Brief in Opposition to Motions to Dismiss in the 9th Circuit case, Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management.
Golinski deals with a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco who is legally married to her wife under the laws of the State of California. She attempted to enroll her spouse under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, but her application was rejected because the federal Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages or extending benefits to these unions. She thereupon sued the federal Office of Personnel Management, contending that DOMA is unconstitutional under principles of Equal Protection.
In the first official brief by the DOJ on this issue since Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would no longer defend DOMA in court, the government comes out swinging. Analyzed by Professor Huhn, a constitutional law scholar at the University of Akron:
The brief itself is powerful and concise. In the first portion of the brief (12 pages, double spaced) the government contends that gays and lesbians are a “suspect” or “quasi-suspect” class and that the law should therefore be evaluated under a heightened scrutiny standard. In the second portion of the brief (5 pages, double spaced) the government argues that the law fails heightened scrutiny.
Read the whole brief HERE.