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House GOP leaders to ask Supreme Court by end of June to take DOMA appeal

WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for the House Republican leadership today told a federal court that the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group plans to ask the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling from May 31 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Although the Supreme Court request had been expected, it was unclear when such a request, called a petition for a writ of certiorari, would be made since the deadline for the filing is not until Aug. 29.

The news came today in another challenge to DOMA's federal definition of "marriage" and "spouse" contained in Section of the 1996 law. That case, Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, was brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and BLAG's counsel today asked the court to put that case on hold.

One of the reasons for doing so, BLAG's lawyers said, is because a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA would answer the questions raised in the Pedersen challenge.

That potential Supreme Court case, BLAG details, is Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the appellate case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit decision on May 31.

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