John Boehner is having a bad week (YIPPEE!)
Today United States Magistrate Judge John Francis issued an order compelling John Boehner and the Gop’s lawyer Paul Clement to answer two questions.about why anyone would bother defending a discriminatory law already deemed “unconstitutional” by the Department of Justice:
1) “What, if anything, do you contend are the compelling justifications for section 3 of DOMA?”
2) “What, if anything, do you assert are the legitimate government interests rationally advanced by section 3 of DOMA?”
This is a key passage from the order via AmericaBlogGay
The two interrogatories pressed by the plaintiff ask “What, if anything, do you contend are the compelling justifications for section 3 of DOMA, 1 U.S.C. § 77” (Interrogatory no. 1) and “What, if anything, do you assert are the legitimate government interests rationally advanced by section 3 of DOMA, 1 U.S.C. § 7?” (Interrogatory no. 3). BLAG objects to both on the ground that, to the extent they are construed as contention interrogatories, they are premature. That argument is disingenuous; at the time BLAG responded, the discovery deadline was three days away, and it is now closed. (emphasis added)
BLAG also objects to Interrogatory no. 1 because “it assumes the legal conclusion that Congress required a compelling justification to enact Section 3 of DOMA.” In fact, the interrogatory assumes only that, if the Court finds st ct scrutiny to be the appropriate standard of review, BLAG may wish to proffer compelling justifications for DOMA. The plaintiff is entitled to know what those justifications are, and BLAG is there directed to answer Interrogatory 1.
In response to Interrogatory no. 3, BLAG sets forth authority for the proposition that under rational basis analysis, there is no need to demonstrate the basis on which the legislature actually chose to create classifications. That may be an accurate summary of the law, but it misses the point. BLAG will presumably suggest to the Court potentially rational grounds for the enactment of DOMA, and it must disclose those to the plaintiff in response to a proper contention interrogatory. Accordingly, BLAG shall answer Interrogatory no. 3 as well.
For those of you who don’t speak legalize BLAG stands for Bilious Lawyers Attacking Gays (ie Clements) and for the fact that the judge has called Clements arguments “disingenuous” and have ordered them to answer these questions to his satisfaction. I looks like the BONER will be spanked again!