Supreme Court Holds Action on Arizona State Employees Case and Remaining DOMA Challenges
(San Francisco, December 10, 2012) - The U.S. Supreme Court issued no new orders today in the remaining LGBT rights cases on its docket in the wake of its decision Friday to review the Prop 8 challenge and one of four cases challenging the constitutionality of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Two Lambda Legal cases remain on the docket: Brewer v. Diaz and U.S. Office of Personnel Management v Golinski. Jon Davidson, Legal Director for Lambda Legal, issued the following statement:
"The Supreme Court on Friday announced that it would review two important cases in the ongoing pursuit of equality for LGBT people. They were two among many petitions before the Court. Because of victories already won by Lambda Legal at the District and Appellate Court levels, lesbian and gay state employees in Arizona will continue to receive health coverage for their families, and Karen Golinski will continue to receive health coverage for her wife, Amy, while the Supreme Court deliberates over the cases it has agreed to review and issues further orders in June.
"We are proud that we represent these couples and have won court battles that brought them health care and more security for their families. We are in this fight together, for as long as it takes, to get them and other same-sex couples over the finish line to equality."
In Brewer v. Diaz, Lambda Legal represents lesbian and gay state employees - including from the State Department of Game and Fish and state universities - who are challenging a move by the Arizona Legislature to eliminate the equal health care coverage that they rely on to safeguard their families' health. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer asked the Supreme Court to review a U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that maintains family health coverage for these employees while the case seeking to permanently preserve the benefits works its way through the court system.
In U.S. Office of Personnel Management v. Golinski, Lambda Legal together with Morrison & Foerster represents Karen Golinski, a federal court employee, in her battle to enroll her spouse, Amy Cunninghis, in the employee health plan. Lambda Legal and Morrison & Foerster filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in January, 2010. On February 22, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White ruled for Golinski and found Section 3 unconstitutional. The U.S. Department of Justice then petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case before judgment at the appellate level.