The Obama Administration's Justice Department has filed a request with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to ask that it expedite its upcoming case related to the Defense of Marriage Act.
The request stems from the case of federal employee Karen Golinski, who has started receiving lower-court awarded health benefits from her wife.
Metro Weekly explains the plea for expedition:
If DOJ lawyers have their way, an 11-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will be considering the case of Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management well before the presidential election this November.
On Monday, DOJ filed two motions in the appeal before the Ninth Circuit, both of which were agreed to by Golinski. The first asks the court to expedite the appeal and the other seeks to skip over the first stage of appellate review, in which a three-judge panel considers the case, in favor of moving directly to en banc consideration by an 11-judge panel of the court.
The DOJ explains its request for an en banc reviews as thus:
"Whereas a panel of this Court [under Ninth Circuit rules] would need to examine whether High Tech Gayscontinues to bind panels of this Court, the en banc Court could avoid that inquiry and could instead directly consider afresh whether, as the government argues, heightened scrutiny applies to classifications based on sexual orientation."
"And because the resolution of that threshold question will have substantial implications for the resolution of this case, en banc consideration is warranted to provide an expeditious and definitive resolution to plaintiff’s challenge to Section 3 of DOMA."
If the Ninth denies the DOJ's petition for en banc, the Administration asks the court to move quickly forward with the case in front of a three judge panel before September 2012.
(Source: Metro Weekly)