Supreme Court sets briefing schedule for DOMA lawsuit | Gay News | Washington Blade – America’s Leading Gay News Source

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced the schedule for submitting legal briefs in pending DOMA litigation, making the deadline for the first round of such documents Jan. 22.

Here’s when each brief should be filed in case of Windsor v. United States, the lawsuit against DOMA the Supreme Court agreed to hear last week. The briefing schedule was announced in an orders list on Friday.

No announcement was made on the briefing schedule for Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case challenging California’s Proposition 8 the Supreme Court has also agreed to take up.

For the briefs on the merits of the lawsuit:

* the brief of the House Republican-led Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, not to exceed 15,000 words, must be filed by Jan. 22;
* the brief of the U.S. solicitor general, not to exceed 15,000 words, must be filed by Feb. 22;
* the brief of lesbian plaintiff Edith Windsor, not to exceed 15,000 words, must be filed by Feb. 26;
* and the reply brief of BLAG, not to exceed 6,000 words, must then be filed within the court’s established rules.

On the jurisdictional question on whether the U.S. Justice Department and BLAG have standing to petition the court in the case:

* the brief of Court-appointed friend-of-the-court Harvard law professor Vicki Jackson, not to exceed 10,000 words, must be filed by Jan. 22;
* the briefs of the U.S. solicitor general, BLAG and Windsor, not to exceed 10,000 words each, must be filed by Feb. 20;
* and reply briefs of the litigants and Jackson, not to exceed 4,000 words, will then be filed within established rules of the court.

The orders lists says other friend-of-the-court briefs must be filed under established rules of the court, except for briefs supporting the positions of Windsor and the solicitor general, which must be filed seven days after the brief of the solicitor general on the merits has been submitted.

via Supreme Court sets briefing schedule for DOMA lawsuit | Gay News | Washington Blade – America’s Leading Gay News Source.

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House GOP Boosts Funds for DOMA Legal Defense : Roll Call Policy

House Republicans have quietly raised the value of a contract with a private law firm that is handling the chamber’s Supreme Court defense of a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., signed off in September on a $500,000 increase in the maximum value of the contract with the firm, Washington-based Bancroft. Republicans have raised the cap of the contract twice: first on Sept. 29, 2011, from its original maximum of $500,000 to $1.5 million, and again on Sept. 28 to its new maximum of $2 million.

Although the latest lifting of the contract cap occurred almost three months ago, House Democrats — and the public — were in the dark about the move until this week. House Republicans did not share the revised contract with Democrats until Thursday, according to Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Hammill provided a copy of the contract modification to CQ Roll Call.

Indeed, Democrats were so out of the loop that Pelosi’s office released figures on Oct. 16 showing that the taxpayer expenses for the defense of the law nearly had hit their cap of $1.5 million. But that was almost three weeks after Lungren had raised the cap to $2 million.

Pelosi blasted House Republicans in a statement Thursday for “wasting taxpayer dollars to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act.”

“Hiding this contract from voters in the midst of an election season was a cynical move at best, and a betrayal of the public trust at worst,” she said. “Republicans should not be spending $2 million to defend discrimination in our country.”

Republicans have been forced to raise the contract’s maximum value as legal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act have mounted in courts across the country. The GOP-led House is defending the measure because the Obama administration decided in February 2011 that it views the statute as unconstitutional and will no longer do so.

via House GOP Boosts Funds for DOMA Legal Defense : Roll Call Policy.

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