April 13, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
This week we reported on the filing of a motion in McLaughlin v. Panetta by the plaintiffs in the case that was an attempt to expedite BLAG’s probable intervention in the legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. McLaughlin concerns married military servicemembers who are gay and lesbian and can’t obtain their spousal benefits because of DOMA. The judge has refused to grant the motion.
The current deadline for BLAG’s motion to intervene is April 28. If the judge had accepted this request BLAG would have been asked to render a decision on whether it will intervene in the case or not by April 20.
The order says:
“ELECTRONIC ORDER entered denying  Motion to Set a Deadline for seeking intervention in this case,”[...]“In light of the current posture of the case, the court sees no reason to set such a deadline.”
The original filing for the request to expedite the case seems to have been based on the upcoming decision in the First Circuit in Gill, another DOMA case. The plaintiffs wanted BLAG’s decision on intervention before a decision comes down in that case, which wrapped up oral arguments last week and could end up being decided at any time. A decision to honor the request would “help expedite the case and narrow the issues for trial” according to the plaintiffs.
BLAG is, of course, expected to intervene in the case.