Friday, July 09, 2010

Lawyerly Analysis on DOMA Case

As always, Arthur Leonard, NYU law professor, does not disappoint. His analysis and projection of the twin U.S. District rulings invalidating DOMA are here. My comments on the rulings with links to them are here.

He provides a bit more background than other sources. Plus and of high interest to me, he breaks down the appeals sked and some of the players.

The feds have 60 days from July 8th to appeal, that would be the first full week of September. Possibilities before then include:
  1. Congress repealing DOMA, making its invalidation moot.
  2. The Justice Department would try what failed in California, asking for a stay of implementation because legislation on the act was pending. Leonard does not think that effort in the DOMA case is far enough along to convince any judge.
  3. Justice could do nothing and let DOMA be invalidated without further fighting. I figure that's logical but not likely to happen with such an emotionally and politically loaded subject.
  4. Justice could appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals (that includes Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire).
Leonard knows of those folk and breaks down the robed ones.
There are six active judges on the circuit, and three senior judges who continue to sit on some cases. Of the active judges, two were appointed by Clinton (Democrat) and one each by Presidents Ronald Reagan (Republican), George H.W. Bush (Republican), George W. Bush (Republican), and Barack Obama (Democrat). Thus, the active circuit judges are evenly divided among Democratic and Republican appointees. The three senior judges were all appointed by Republican Presidents: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals does not have an extensive history of rulings on LGBT rights issues.


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