Friday, January 04, 2013

House Adopts Rules For New Session Authorizing Continued House Defense of DOMA In Courts

Among the first business of the new 113th Congress was he House of Representatives adoption of H. Res. 5 setting out the Rules of the House for this Congress. Section 4(a)(1) of the House Resolution gives the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group continued authority to intervene in court cases to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.  The House originally intervened when the Obama administration decided to no longer defend DOMA's constitutionality. (See prior posting.)  H. Res. 5 provides:
(A) The House authorizes the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress— 
(i) to act as successor in interest to the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the One Hundred Twelfth Congress with respect to civil actions in which it intervened in the One Hundred Twelfth Congress to defend the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (1 U.S.C. 7) or related provisions of titles 10, 31, and 38, United States Code, including in the case of Windsor v. United States...;
(ii) to take such steps as may be appropriate to ensure continuation of such civil actions; and 
(iii) to intervene in other cases that involve a challenge to the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act or related provisions of titles 10, 31, and 38, United States Code.
(B) Pursuant to clause 8 of rule II, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group continues to speak for, and articulate the institutional position of, the House in all litigation matters in which it appears, including in Windsor v. United States.
As reported by AP, in adopting this provision the House majority ignored openly gay Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., who objected that Republicans "are seeking to authorize lawyer fees for a costly Federal takeover of marriage that would single out legally married couples for discriminatory treatment under Federal law." [Thanks to Alliance Alert for the lead.]

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