The House Republicans have withdrawn their costly defense of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. The announcement was made today, just over three weeks after the Supreme Court ruled against DOMA.
Chris Geidner, at Buzzfeed, writes:
House Republican leaders announced in a court filing Thursday that they will not defend remaining statutes similar to the Defense of Marriage Act that ban recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages.
The move comes three weeks and one day after the Supreme Court ruled in Edith Windsor’s case that the federal definition of marriage in DOMA was unconstitutional because it banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages.
From the Court filing by BLAG (Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group):
The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives … sought, and was granted, to intervene in this case for the purpose of defending Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act … .
The Supreme Court recently resolved the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality. …
The Windsor decision necessarily resolves the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this case. While the question of whether 38 U.S.C. Â§ 101(3), (31) is constitutional remains open, the House has determined, in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, that it no longer will defend that statute. Accordingly, the House now seeks leave to withdraw as a party defendant. …
“˜The document from the legal team speaks for itself,’ House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel, told BuzzFeed, when asked for comment on the move.
See Geidner’s article for more about the “unresolved” cases challenging DOMA. With Boehner and company now out of the fight, and even more significantly of course, with the SCOTUS decision, those cases are obviously in a very different place than when filed.
At Think Progress, Zack Ford writes:
House Republicans have been using taxpayer funding to foot the $2.3 million dollar bill to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in a number of cases. …
(With the withdrawal of BLAG) … the federal government will no longer be spending taxpayer money to defend discrimination against same-sex couples, though the money already spent “” which could have actually helped people “” is lost forever.
HRC president Chad Griffin made a similar point (via the Buzzfeed article):
“˜After millions of taxpayer dollars wasted defending discrimination, it’s a historic sign of the times that the House leadership is dropping its pointless quest to maintain second-class status for lesbian and gay couples.’
(John Boehner Capture Via John Boehner)