May 30, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
Thanks to Kathleen for this filing
In Cooper-Harris v. USA a veteran of the United States military who got multiple sclerosis as a result of her service is suing for benefits she is currently being denied under the Defense of Marriage Act. The Republican-led House, through BLAG, had filed a motion to intervene in the case to defend DOMA, and then several responses and counter-responses have been filed.
Since all of those filings occurred, another case, Golinski v. OPM has been working its way through the courts. Golinski is a Ninth Circuit challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. Recently, the plaintiffs attempted to get an initial en banc hearing that would have sped up the challenge, but it was denied. Since a previous request to hear the case on an expedited schedule was granted, oral arguments will be heard by a three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit in early September.
Since the Golinski case is fast-tracked, BLAG is asking the court in Cooper-Harris to hold off on those proceedings, pending a decision in Golinski. The motion notes that the plaintiffs oppose the motion to stay the proceedings, and the Department of Justice does not oppose it.