The DOMA-defending lawyer Paul Clement doesn’t wanna let Margaret Gallagher Srivastav get on the stand in his case against lesbian widow Edie Windsor, because if he does, he knows that Windsor’s lawyers will tear Srivastav to bits. So how is Clement working around this courtroom catfight just waiting to happen?
You see, because the Defense of Marriage Act does not recognize same-sex unions as legal marriages, Edie Windsor had to pay beaucoup federal estate taxes on the house and assets she inherited when her wife passed away. When Windsor filed a suit challenging DOMA’s constitutionality, she asked for a summary filing; that is, she asked the court to skip a physical trial because she and the government both agreed on the basic facts of the case and just wanted a ruling.
“BUT NOT SO FAST!” said DOMA-defender Paul Clement of the Republican-lead Bi-Partisan Legal Advisory Group. “I have a stunning 5-point brief explaining why DOMA is constitutional and how gays choose to be gay, have plenty of political power, don’t face any sort of discrimination whatsoever, and make shitty parents.”
But instead of presenting actual witnesses to make these claims, Clement simply copied them out of a bunch of books (presumably the same ones used by Maggie Srivastav, since they sound so much like her usual anti-equality arguments), included them in his brief, and tried to slip them past the Plaintiff.
“BUT NOT SO FAST!” says the Plaintiff. “I had actual witnesses that you got to cross-examine, while all you have is books. You can’t cross-examine books, you crazy queen!” And so with that he filed a truly excellent brief asking to court to strike all of BLAG’s “evidence” (ie. books) from the court record. And he wrote the brief using oh-so-rich withering language that is so much a joy to read that we have included it below (no really, you will savor every last word):
In her motion for summary judgement, Plaintiff argues that the statute at issue in this case, Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which discriminates against her because she is a lesbian, should be subject to heightened scrutiny and is unconstitutional. In support of that argument, Plaintiff, in accordance with the scheduling order issued by this Court, marshaled an extensive and compelling record of expert testimony. That record included affidavits from prominent academics at the University of California and Cambridge University, who provided the Court with their expert opinions on topics such as the psychological well-being of gay men and lesbians, their ability (or, more accurately, their inability) to “change” their sexual orientation, and their capability to serve as competent, loving parents for their children.
Although this Court’s schedluing order gave BLAG a full and fair opportunity to submit testimony or other competent evidence contradicting these assertions, which Plaintiff submitted by means of admissable expert affadavits, it instead elected not to do so. Rather, in a contravention of both the Federal Rules of Evidence and Federal Rules of Vivil Procedure, BLAG, in opposing Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgement, simply referenced a dozen assorted books and articles about techincal matters in psychology and sociology. The documents relied upon by BLAG related to matters about which it is clearly only appropriate for competent experts, not counsel for BLAG, to testify since counsel, with all due respect, simply do not have the requisite qualifications… to testify about such topics in a federal district court.
In short, he said, “Clement, you ain’t a psychology or sociology expert and you sure as hell can’t base your entire defense on a bunch of books I can’t even cross-examine, cracker ass cracker.”
Personally, we hope the judge does allow Clement to call expert witnesses and that Mrs. Srivastav is among them. She’s a good writer and quite an acrobatic logician, so it’d be fun to see her perform razzle-dazzle Chicago-style on the witness stand.
This is the same woman and the same organization that did not produce so much as a single witness for the Prop 8 trial, and then complained about the verdict once it came down.
Mindful mittens doesn’t want to get her paws dirty in court. She didn’t even show up for Patrick Leahey’s historic DOMA hearings either. Was she afraid she’d end up looking a fool like Focus on the Family did.
Please, please, please get her on the stand. We haven’t seen a good catfight in some time now.