Windsor v. The United States Of America

Filing 92

RESPONSE re: 91 Notice (Other), Notice (Other). Document filed by Edith Schlain Windsor. (Kaplan, Roberta)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK EDITH SCHLAIN WINDSOR, in her capacity as Executor of the estate of THEA CLARA SPYER, 10 Civ. 8435 (BSJ) (JCF) ECF Case Plaintiff, v. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSE TO INTERVENOR-DEFENDANT’S NOTICE OF RECENT DECISIONS Defendant. Plaintiff Edith Schlain Windsor hereby responds to the Notice of Recent Decisions filed by Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives (“BLAG”), dated October 20, 2011. Neither of the two cases cited by BLAG has any bearing on the issues at bar. First, Log Cabin Republicans v. United States is entirely irrelevant. Log Cabin held that a challenge to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was moot given the law’s repeal. See Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, Nos. 10-56634, 10-56813, 2011 WL 4494225, at **2–5 (9th Cir. Sept. 29, 2011) (per curiam). As DOMA remains in effect, there is no issue of mootness here. BLAG also cites dicta from the concurrence. This outof-circuit dicta, from a concurring opinion in a case dealing with entirely unrelated issues, relies on the same out-of-circuit and outdated pre-Lawrence caselaw that BLAG has already briefed at length, see id. at *8, and which Plaintiff has already addressed. (See Mem. in Opp’n to Pl.’s Mot. for Summ. J. at 5–7; Reply Mem. of Law in Supp. of Pl.’s Mot. for Summ. J. at 9–13.) Second, in Lui v. Holder the district court, without independent analysis of the Equal Protection claim before it, held that it was constrained to dismiss the complaint under Ninth Circuit precedent. Lui v. Holder, No. 2:11-cv-01267 (SVW), at 3–5 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 28, 2011). Again, Lui was decided on the basis of old Ninth Circuit precedent, which relied on the same cases as the concurrence in Log Cabin. Id. Additionally, the Lui court expressly distinguished cases, like Plaintiff’s here, that are founded on “the basis of denial of certain federal marriage-based benefits.” See id. at 5 n.7 (comparing case to Gill v. OPM, 699 F. Supp. 2d 374 (D. Mass. 2010)). For these reasons, this Court should give no weight to BLAG’s notice or the cases appended thereto. 2 Dated: New York, New York October 21, 2011 Respectfully Submitted, PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRISON LLP /s/ Roberta A. Kaplan Roberta A. Kaplan, Esq. Andrew J. Ehrlich, Esq. 1285 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York 10019-6064 (212) 373-3000 rkaplan@paulweiss.com aehrlich@paulweiss.com – and – James D. Esseks, Esq. Rose A. Saxe, Esq. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION FOUNDATION 125 Broad Street New York, New York 10004-2400 (212) 549-2500 jesseks@aclu.org rsaxe@aclu.org – and – Melissa Goodman, Esq. Alexis Karteron, Esq. Arthur Eisenberg, Esq. NEW YORK CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION FOUNDATION 125 Broad Street, 19th Floor New York, New York 10004 (212) 607-3300 mgoodman@nyclu.org akarteron@nyclu.org aeisenberg@nyclu.org Attorneys for Plaintiff Edith Schlain Windsor 3