Windsor v. The United States Of America

Filing 98

Letter addressed to Judge Barbara S. Jones from Roberta A. Kaplan dated 5/31/2012 re: We write on behalf of plaintiff Edie Windsor to bring to the Court's attention the decision issued earlier today by the Unites States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") is unconstitutional in a case that presents substantially similar facts and raises overlapping legal issues as the above-captioned matter Document filed by Edith Schlain Windsor.(ama)

PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRISON LLP 126!5 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10019-6064 UNIT 3601, FORTUNE PLAZA OFFICE TOWER A NO. 7 DONG SANHUAN ZHONGLU CHAO YANG DISTRICT TELEPHONE (212) 373·3000 L.LOVC K. GARRISON RANDOLPH E. PAUL SIMON H. RIFKIND LOUIS S. WEISS JOHN F. WHARTON (1927·1977) BEIJING 100020 PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (t946~t99U ( 1946·1956) (1950·1995) ( 1927·1950) TELEPHONE (86·10) 582!1-6300 12TH FLOOR, HONG KONG CLUB BUILDING 3A CHATER ROAO, CENTRAL HONG KONG TELEPHONE (852) 2846·0300 ALDER CASTLE 10 NOBLE STREET LONDON EC2V 7JU, U.K. WRITER'S DIRECT DIAL NUMBER TELEPHONE (44 20) 7367 1600 (212) 373-3086 FUKOKU SEIMEI BUILDLNG UCHISAIWAICHO 2-<::HOME TOKYO t00-Q01 1, .JAPAN TELEPHONE (81·3) 3597·8!01 2~2 WRITER'S DIRECT FACSIMILE CHIVOOA~KU, (212) 373-2037 TORONTO-DOMINION CENTRE WRITER'S DIRECT E·MAIL ADDRESS 77 KING STREET WEST. SUITE 3100 P.O. BOX 226 TORONTO, ONTARIO MSK IJ3 rkaplan@paulweiss.com TELEPHONE (41 6) 504~0520 2001 K STREET, NW WASHINGTON, DC 20006·1047 TELEPHONE (2.02) 223·7300 500 DELAWARE AVENUE, SUITE 200 POST OFFICE BOX 32 WILMINGTON, DE 19899-Q032. TELEPHONE (302) 655-4410 May 31, 2012 '*NOT A0114~TTED TO TH£ NEW YORK BAR VIA FACSIMILE AND HAND DELIVERY The Honorable Barbara S. Jones United States District Court Southern District of New York 500 Pearl Street New York, NY 10007 Windsor v. United States, 10 Civ. 8435 (BSJ) (JCF) Dear Judge Jones: We write on behalf of plaintiff Edie Windsor to bring to the Court's attention the decision issued earlier today by the Unites States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") is unconstitutional in a case that presents substantially similar facts and raises overlapping legal issues as the above-captioned matter. See Massachusetts v. Dep 't of Health and Human Servs., Gill v. Office of Pers..Mgmt., Nos. 10-2204, 10-2207, 10-2214 (1st Cir. May 31, 2012). In particular, in a unanimous opinion by Judge Boudin, the First Circuit held that the burdens imposed by Section 3 of DOMA "are comparable to those the [Supreme] Court found substantial in [Dep 't ofAg. v.] Moreno[, 413 U.S. 528 (1973)] , City ofCleburne [v. Cleburne Living Ctr., 473 U.S. 432 (1985)], and Romer [v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996)]." /d. at 19. The First Circuit proceeded to reject each ofthe purported justifications for Section 3 of DOMA, holding "that the rationales offered do not provide adequate support for section 3 of DO MA." /d. at 28. PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRISON LLP 2 The Honorable Barbara S. Jones As a result of the enclosed opinion, as oftoday's date and since 2010 (the year in which the Complaint in the above-captioned matter was filed), every federal circuit, district, or bankruptcy court to have analyzed the constitutionality of DOMA has agreed that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional for the very reasons asserted by Ms. Windsor. See id.; Dragovich v. Dep't ofTreasury, No. C 10-1564 (CW), 2012 WL 1909603 (N.D. Cal. May 24, 2012); Golinski v. Office ofFers. Mgmt., 824 F. Supp. 2d 968 (N.D. Cal. 2012); Gill v. Office ofFers. Mgmt., 699 F. Supp. 2d 374 (D. Mass. 2010); In re Balas, 449 B.R. 567 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2011). As Your Honor is aware, and as addressed in the parties' respective crossmotions, the above decisions were issued in Circuits where precedent mandated that DOMA be evaluated under rational basis review. (See Reply Mem. of Law in Supp. of Pl.'s Mot. for Summ. J. at 9-13.) As Your Honor is also aware, no such precedent binds this Court, and as a result both the Department of Justice and Ms. Windsor have respectfully requested a decision from this Court finding that Section 3 of DOMA is subject to heightened judicial scrutiny. (See id at 13-24; Def. United States' Mem. of Law in Resp. to Pl.'s Mot. for Summ. J. and Intervenor's Mot. to Dismiss; Mem. of Law in Supp. ofPl.'s Mot. for Summ. J. at 10-31.) For the reasons stated in our letters to the Court dated March 29, 2012 and May 29,2012, in which we and the Department of Justice respectfully requested an expeditious decision on the pending dispositive motions, which have been pending since September 15,2011, with the utmost respect, we renew our request that the Court decide this matter as soon as practicable in light of the pressing nature of the issues of national concern before the Court. §J![~ Roberta N Kaplan Enclosure cc (via email): Paul D. Clement, Esq. H. Christopher Bartolomucci, Esq. James D. Esseks, Esq. Jean Lin, Esq.