House GOP to SCOTUS: Obama Administration Has No Right to Attack DOMA


Lyle Denniston of the SCOTUS blog on the the House GOP pointing out to SCOTUS that the Obama administration is trying to strike down DOMA after refusing to defend it:

The Republican leaders of the House of Representatives urged the Supreme Court on Friday to cast aside the Obama administration’s appeal on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, though that already has been granted review, and to then take on the dispute in the GOP chiefs’ own case in defense of the law.

In a brief answering jurisdictional questions raised by the Court when it took on the DOMA dispute, the House’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) argued that it has a right under the Constitution’s Article III to be in court in DOMA cases.  It noted that the administration has stopped defending the law and instead is attacking it.

The new filing also contended that the New York woman who was at the center of the case the Court is reviewing does not have a right to appeal.  Both the administration and Ms. Windsor won in lower courts, getting everything that they wanted out of the controversy, and thus have given up their right to pursue the case in the Supreme Court.

“Without the House’s participation,” the document said, “it is hard to see how there is any case or controversy here at all.  Both Ms. Windsor and the executive agree that DOMA is unconstitutional and that Ms. Windsor was entitled to a refund [for an estate tax she paid].  And the lower courts granted them all the relief they requested.  Only the House’s intervention provides the adverseness that Article III demands.”