On the high heels of House Republicans asking the Supreme Court to dip its bench into the DOMA waters, President Obama's Department of Justice has made a similar request (but with fingers crossed for a different outcome than what the GOP has in mind). Details follow.
Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner reports:
The Obama administration is squarely taking on the Defense of Marriage Act, asking the U.S. Supreme Court today to review a pair of cases challenging the constitutionality of the federal definition of "marriage" contained in the 1996 law -- while continuing to argue the law should be struck down.
In Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, the California-based case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, DOJ is asking for the Supreme Court to take the case before the appeals court, which is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case in September, even decides the case.
DOJ also is asking the Supreme Court to take review of another case, Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services, that was decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on May 31. The House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, led by the House Republican leadership, had sought review of the case this past Friday, June 29.
Donald Verrili, Jr., the DOJ's top litigator, says the Supreme Court really only has to answer one question that threads the two cases together: "Whether Section 3 of DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State."
As we mention above, House Republicans have also asked the Court to review DOMA and uphold "traditional marriage."