November 30, 2009

WH defies court order -- top openly gay official's dept seeks to bar partner health benefits: From Pam's House Blend:

"This is yet another black eye for this administration that will force them to rationalize this maneuver. Mike Signorile:
If the Obama administration, which now has less than 30 days to respond, tries to fight this, not only will it undoubtedly cause another (and much bigger, in my opinion) firestorm within the LGBT community, but it's not clear that it actually can fight it, let alone win:

[Judge Kozinski's] order last week demanded that the executive branch reverse course, and gave the Administration 30 days to enroll Golinski's wife as her health-insurance beneficiary. He made clear that if it doesn't, he's ready to use the powers of his court to enforce his decree. University of California law professor Rory Little, a former Justice Department prosecutor and chief of appeals, called the order a "bombshell." "This is like exposing the tip of a huge iceberg that nobody knew even existed," he told TIME. "It's a fascinating question: Do the courts even have the power to do this? Where does it leave things procedurally? Where can the Administration appeal? I think there are five or six lawyers in the [Solicitor General's] office scurrying around right now trying to figure out what to do with this."
Again -- the sorry truth is that is the Office of Personnel Management led by John Berry, an openly gay man, is pushing for this. His marching orders are to deny a fellow member of our community -- a federal employee -- rights ordered granted by a federal court. Unbelievable. "

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