December 14, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
In an order today, the Supreme Court set the briefing schedule in United States v. Windsor, the constitutional challenge to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), who stepped in to defend the law after the Justice Department stopped its defense, will file its first brief on the merits “on or before Tuesday, January 22, 2013[.]” The Court granted the Justice Department’s petition but they agree with the lower court and the plaintiffs that the law is unconstitutional, so the briefing schedule will reflect that the party who lost in the lower court – BLAG – will file the opening merits brief.
The Solicitor General will file a brief due “on or before Friday, February 22, 2013.” And plaintiff Edith Windsor’s brief is due “on or before Tuesday, February 26, 2013.” Then replies will be filed according to the Court’s established rules.
On the jurisdictional questions raised, whether BLAG has Article III standing and whether the Justice Department’s agreement with the decision below deprives the Court of jurisdiction to hear the case, the Court recently appointed an attorney to argue as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) against jurisdiction. Her brief arguing that point is due “on or before January 22, 2013.” Briefs on this point from the Solicitor General, BLAG, and Windsor are due “on or before Wednesday, February 20, 2013″ Replies will then be filed according to the rules of the Court.
The order also lists the time frame to file amicus curiae briefs.
The Court has not yet set a date for oral arguments or indicated how much time will be allowed for arguments on the merits and on the Article III standing and jurisdiction questions.
h/t Kathleen for this order