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Case Name Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management PB-CT-0007
Docket / Court 3:10-cv-01750 ( D. Conn. )
State/Territory Connecticut
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On November 9, 2010, several citizens of Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire who were or had been married to partners of the same sex under the law of their states filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against the Office of Personnel Management, the Social ... read more >
On November 9, 2010, several citizens of Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire who were or had been married to partners of the same sex under the law of their states filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against the Office of Personnel Management, the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Postal Service, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, and the United States. The plaintiffs, represented by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and by private counsel, sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201, alleging a violation of equal protection. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that operation of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), 1 U.S.C. § 7, to deny them a variety of state and federal benefits that would be available to similarly situated individuals with spouses of the opposite sex violated the equal protection component of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief.

On February 25, 2011, the Department of Justice, representing the defendants, notified the court that it had come to the conclusion that DOMA is unconstitutional and that it would thus cease defending it. In response, on April 26 the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives (BLAG) moved to intervene in defense of the act, and the Court (Judge Vanessa L. Bryant) granted its motion on May 27. Pedersen v. Office of Pers. Mgmt., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155323 (D. Conn. 2011).

On July 15, 2011, plaintiffs moved for summary judgment, and on August 15, BLAG moved to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint. Briefing on both motions continued over the course of the following year.

On June 20, 2012, BLAG moved to stay the proceedings pending the decision of the Second Circuit in Windsor v. United States, No. 10-cv-08435 (S.D.N.Y.) [PB-NY-0017]. The District Court (Judge Bryant) denied BLAG's motion on July 4, finding BLAG's assertion that the Second Circuit's decision would be dispositive in the case to be speculative.

On July 31, 2012, the Court (Judge Bryant) issued an order denying BLAG's motion to dismiss and granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Pedersen v. Office of Pers. Mgmt., 2012 WL 3113883, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106713 (D. Conn. 2012). The Court found that "homosexuals display all the traditional indicia of suspectness and therefore statutory classifications based on sexual orientation are entitled to a heightened form of judicial scrutiny," but also found that application of heightened scrutiny was unnecessary to resolve the case, as Section 3 of DOMA failed to pass muster even under rational basis review.

On August 17, 2012, plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari before judgment under the Supreme Court Rule that permits deviation from normal appellate practice “upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to...require immediate determination in [the Supreme] Court.” Sup. Ct. R. 11. As of the date of this summary, the petition is pending. Presumably it will be held without decision while the Court considers the California Prop. 8 case (PB-CA-0029 in this Clearinghouse) and Windsor, the DOMA case from the Second Circuit (PB-NY-0017 in this Clearinghouse), in which the Court granted review on December 7. (Argument on those cases is expected to occur in March 2013.)

Christopher Schad - 12/07/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Social Security Retirement and Death Benefit
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Office of Personnel Management
Social Security Administration
The United States of America
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury
U.S. Department of the Treasury
U.S. Postal Service
Plaintiff Description citizens of Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire who are legally married to a person of the same sex in accordance with the laws of their state, or who were so married until the death of their same-sex spouse
Indexed Lawyer Organizations GLAD
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted
Prevailing Party not on record
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
3:10−cv−01750 (D. Conn.) 07/04/2012
PB-CT-0007-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 01/14/2011
PB-CT-0007-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Memorandum of Law in Support of [Plaintiffs'] Motion for Summary Judgment 07/15/2011
PB-CT-0007-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Memorandum of Law of Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives in Support of Its Motion to Dismiss 08/15/2011
PB-CT-0007-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Intervenor-Defendant's Motion to Stay 07/04/2012 (D. Conn.)
PB-CT-0007-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Decision Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Intervenor-Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 07/31/2012 (2012 WL 3113883 / 2012 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 106713) (D. Conn.)
PB-CT-0007-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum of Decision Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Intervenor-Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 07/31/2012 (881 F.Supp.2d 294) (D. Conn.)
PB-CT-0007-0020 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Plaintiffs'] Petition for Writ of Certiorari Before Judgment 08/17/2012
PB-CT-0007-0006 PDF | Detail
Notice of Appeal 08/17/2012
PB-CT-0007-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petition for Writ of Certiorari Before Judgement 08/21/2012
PB-CT-0007-0009 PDF | Detail
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellees' Motion for an Expedited Appeal 08/21/2012
PB-CT-0007-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petition for Write of Certiorari Before Judgement 08/21/2012
PB-CT-0007-0015 PDF | Detail
Petition for a Writ of Certiorari Before Judgement 09/11/2012
PB-CT-0007-0008 PDF | Detail
Notice of Appeal of Intervenor-Defendant the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives 09/26/2012
PB-CT-0007-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief in Opposition 10/19/2012
PB-CT-0007-0012 PDF | Detail
Brief for the Office of Personnel Management, et al. 10/19/2012
PB-CT-0007-0016 PDF | Detail
Brief in Opposition 10/19/2012
PB-CT-0007-0017 PDF | Detail
Reply in Support of Petition for Write of Certiorari Before Judgement 10/31/2012
PB-CT-0007-0013 PDF | Detail
Reply in Support of Petition for Writ of Certiorari Before Judgement 10/31/2012
PB-CT-0007-0018 PDF | Detail
Reply Brief for the Federal Petitioners 11/08/2012
PB-CT-0007-0014 PDF | Detail
Judges Bryant, Vanessa Lynne (D. Conn.)
PB-CT-0007-0004 | PB-CT-0007-0005 | PB-CT-0007-0020 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bartschi, Kenneth James (Connecticut)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Bonauto, Mary L. (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Buseck, Gary D. (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Cox, Melissa A. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018
Deneke, Catherine C. (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018
Dowd, Karen L. (Connecticut)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Dunne, Matthew J. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0015
Gershengorn, Ara B. (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018
Henry, Vickie L. (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Jones, Richard L. (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Laporte, Claire (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018
Miller, Matthew E. (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018
Nagle, David J. (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Platzer, Luke C. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018
Smith, Paul M. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018
Weiner, Daniel I. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0002
Wu, Janson (Massachusetts)
PB-CT-0007-0001 | PB-CT-0007-0002 | PB-CT-0007-0006 | PB-CT-0007-0009 | PB-CT-0007-0010 | PB-CT-0007-0013 | PB-CT-0007-0015 | PB-CT-0007-0018 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bartolomucci, H. Christopher (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0003 | PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Clement, Paul D. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0003 | PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Davenport, Christine (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0003 | PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017
Dugan, Conor Brendan (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0003 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Fein, David B. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0011
Goldberg, Arthur R. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0011
Kircher, Kerry W. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0003 | PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Konar, Kirsten W. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0003
Littleton, Judson O. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0011 | PB-CT-0007-9000
McCarron, Katherine E. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0003
McGinley, Michael H. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017
Nelson, David Christopher (Connecticut)
PB-CT-0007-0003 | PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017 | PB-CT-0007-9000
Pittard, William (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0003 | PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017
Roumel, Eleni M. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017
Tatelman, Todd B. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017
Walker, Mary Beth (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0007 | PB-CT-0007-0012 | PB-CT-0007-0017
Other Lawyers Delery, Stuart F. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0008 | PB-CT-0007-0011 | PB-CT-0007-0016
Flentje, August E. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0008 | PB-CT-0007-0016
Gilbert, Helen L (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0008 | PB-CT-0007-0016
Shah, Pratik A. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0008
Singer, Michael J. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0008 | PB-CT-0007-0016
Srinivasan, Sri (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0008
Verrilli, Donald B. Jr. (District of Columbia)
PB-CT-0007-0008 | PB-CT-0007-0014 | PB-CT-0007-0016

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The Clearinghouse has been generously supported by the National Science Foundation.