The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will consider at its conference on Nov. 20 whether to grant review in several LGBT rights cases now before the Court. Two Lambda Legal cases are up for review, one is a challenge to the provision of the so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that treats married same-sex couples as single for federal law purposes, and the second is the State of Arizona’s appeal in Lambda Legal’s thus-far successful effort to preserve health care benefits for lesbian and gay state employees.
Jon Davidson, Legal Director for Lambda Legal, said, “We look forward to hearing from the Supreme Court whether our challenge and/or the challenges of our sister organizations to the core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act will be heard, which is the next step in the long path we have all traveled to put this discriminatory and onerous law out of its – and our – misery. So far eight courts, including two federal Courts of Appeal, have found Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. We are confident the Supreme Court, upon review of these well-reasoned decisions, will decide likewise and married same-sex couples will no longer be denied equal treatment by our federal government.”
Davidson added, “We also look forward to the Court putting the final nail in the coffin on Prop 8. Finally, we hope the Court will reject the State of Arizona’s latest effort to strip benefits from the same-sex partners of state employees, and will allow the case to proceed to resolution.”
These cases the Supreme Court will consider for review Nov. 20 include two Lambda Legal cases; Golinski v. the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, our DOMA challenge, and Diaz v. Brewer, our Arizona benefits case. Also before the Court are three other DOMA challenges; Gill v. OPM, a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in a case brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Windsor v. United States, a ruling from the 2nd Circuit brought by the ACLU, and Pedersen v. OPM, a U.S. District Court ruling also brought by GLAD. All four rulings have found Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. The Court is also scheduled to review Hollingsworth v. Perry, the 9th Circuit ruling finding California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The Court is expected to announce on Nov.21 or 26 which cases it will hear.