Justice Department files motion to stay proceedings in Aranas v. Napolitano, challenging Section 3 of DOMA
January 2, 2013
By Scottie Thomaston
House Republicans, via the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) tasked with defending Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) have been pushing to get Aranas v. Napolitano dismissed. Aranas is a class-action challenge to Section 3 of DOMA as it applies to immigration and binational couples. The plaintiffs and the Justice Department have opposed dismissal of the case, but now the Justice Department is asking the court to issue a stay of the proceedings with a challenge to Section 3 of DOMA pending before the Supreme Court.
Following a common script at this point, given the numerous other requests for stays in these cases, the Justice Department suggests in its filing that the outcome of Windsor will decide this case. Citing a “waste of scarce judicial and governmental resources” if the case continues, the Justice Department suggests that the main legal issue presented is likely to be resolved by the Supreme Court itself soon.
And since this case is brought as a class-action, the Justice Department writes that the court will have to decide issues related to whether the case could continue that way under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. There are also issues of legal standing as it pertains to whether a class can be certified. These other issues would require additional discovery and more resources would be expended.
The Justice Department points out that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already stayed other DOMA cases, Dragovich and Golinski.
And lastly, the Justice Department suggests that a stay would not cause irreparable harm since these issues are already before the Supreme Court.
h/t Kathleen for this filing