Excellent. Now we need to win back the House so John Boehner will stop defending these cases. From Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly.
The Department of Justice sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today stating that the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments would not be defending the government’s laws preventing equal treatment for servicemembers who have same-sex spouses, a decision confirmed by Metro Weekly that was first reported by Talking Points Memo’s Ryan Reilly.
The move by Attorney General Eric Holder comes in the context of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s lawsuit in McLaughlin v. Panetta. Metro Weekly reported on Thursday, Feb. 16, that the parties to the case had agreed a day earlier to a 60-day delay in the government’s deadline for filing a response to the lawsuit.
McLaughlin raises challenges involving DOMA and two military-specific statutes implicated by today’s decision — 38 U.S.C. 101(3) and 38 U.S.C. 101(31) — and could potentially involve other issues relating to the military-specific context, but today Holder told Boehner that these other provisions also “violate the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.”