Orrin Hatch, 9 GOP Senators File Brief in 9th Circuit DOMA Case

Orrin Hatch and nine other GOP senators filed an amicus brief in the 9th Circuit DOMA case this week objecting to Judge Jeffrey White's statements regarding "animus" in his ruling striking down the law, Law.com reports:

J_whiteIn striking down DOMA in February, White had observed that "the legislative history is replete with expressed animus toward gay men and lesbians." Specifically, White noted that some congressmen during floor debate had called homosexuality "immoral," "depraved," "unnatural," "based on perversion" and "an attack on god's principles." Quoting Justice Anthony Kennedy, White said prejudice may be caused by "simple want of careful, rational reflection," among other things.

White's judgment of 'animus' is wholly subjective they argue:

Nothing in Supreme Court jurisprudence, the senators contend, "authorizes a court to strike down an otherwise constitutional law based on the belief that legislators individually, or the Congress as a whole, were motivated by 'animus,'" states the brief, which is signed by Michael Stern of Fairfax, Va.

"Judicial 'psychoanalysis' of legislative motives, to use Justice Cardozo's phrase, is a highly subjective exercise, which threatens needless friction between the branches," the brief continues. "Scouring the congressional record for 'sound-bites' to divine and disparage the motives of individual legislators also chills the freedom of legislative speech that is the hallmark of robust democratic debate."

Law.com adds:

Along with Hatch the senators joining as amici were Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Richard Shelby of Alabama. A handful of current GOP senators who voted for DOMA did not sign onto the filing, including Jon Kyl and John McCain of Arizona, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Olympia Snowe of New Hampshire, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas.


  1. Demian says

    Gawd, when you read that list of legislators on the amicus brief, it’s like the effing Animus Hall of Fame!

  2. Michae says

    Did they actually state DOMA was constitutional??? Verbalization doesn’t automatically make your words factual. I would love to se then it anyone else explain how its somehow constitutional.

  3. mikey67 says

    I love it when they get their panties in a bunch when you call them exactly what they are: bigots. .

  4. says

    calling them bigots is not name-calling just as it’s not name-calling to call me Gay.

    i’m gay. and they’re bigots.

    olympic-judge corruption got so ridiculous that new rules were put in place to make the judges specifically point out WHY they cast the votes they cast, with a set of requirements.

    galling, then, that we still allow people to cast a vote based on a bigoted opinion that doesn’t survive a rational basis test or has anything resembling facts logic or reason.

  5. Caliban says

    To paraphrase Waldo Lydecker, it would be a terrible shame if they were all devoured by wolves.

  6. Lymis says

    Note that while they object that they weren’t motivated by animus, they also conveniently fail to note what else they actually were motivated by, like, for example, a constitutionally valid reason for passing the law.

  7. Steve says

    Of course that’s far from the only reason why DOMA is unconstitutional. If anything the animus finding was ancillary and not even central to the arguments.

    It’s weird that Inhofe didn’t sign. He is easily one of the most homophobic senators

  8. Mykelb says

    They just don’t like it that they have a history of religious bigotry that is being put down in the history books with this particular law. Too bad haters, it’s there in the Congressional Record and now it’s in the jurisprudence. You will forever be bigots in the history books.

  9. Bingo says

    What’s interesting here is that White did not find DOMASection 3 unconstitutional because of animus and instead, in an aside aimed at Kennedy, quoted. KENNEDY on how prejudice arises from lack of reflection and defensiveness, not from anything heinous.

    Someone is being very defensive on a point that matters little in this case.

  10. Bingo says

    Perhaps it’s worth adding that MetroWeekly reported this days ago. Geidner always has the best and first legal coverage.

  11. says

    So when they called homosexuality “immoral,” “depraved,” “unnatural,” “based on perversion” and “an attack on god’s principles,” they meant they really like it?

    And when they enacted a law that deprives us of marriage equality they did it because they love us so much?

    I don’t get the logic here… but then we’re talking Republicans.

  12. Terry says

    I don’t think there is a single Republican who believes Lindsay Graham is straight.

  13. Craig says

    “And when they enacted a law that deprives us of marriage equality they did it because they love us so much?”

    Kevin some of them will actually say yes to that. There is a “christian” view that they want to save us from ourselves. They want us to not act upon our natural instincts in order to make it to heaven. Yeah, it’s pure BS but that’s what they believe.

  14. Dave says

    A Brief is a legal case against someone and animus means hostility or hate toward someone, in this case against LGBT people. Orrin Hatch is a Senator from Utah. Again the Mormons are involved with other anti-gay Christians who spend the America peoples tax money and time attacking on LGBT Americans. Why are they not working to make jobs and the American economy better? Have these anti-gay Christian politicians lost their minds by attacking other law abiding Americans who just want to have a better life and get married? When will America live up to it’s name, land of the free?

  15. laughing out loud says

    Ha, ha — the judge hid behind a Latin word, animus, to tell them that they are bigoted and stupid. But they are so stupid that now several of them are going to call attention to that by replying “am not, am not,” school yard style.

  16. says

    thing is, craig, even by that false “logic” of theirs, their “good work” is wrong – there are more non-Christians than gay people in America, and thus more people who need “saving from themselves”

    the reason “gay” is still the target is because it’s the last thing folks are “allowed” to Openly Hate.

  17. Bob says

    GEE, MORMON ORRIN HATCH wants to say that calling the mormons and catholics malicious for masterminding the anti-freedom campaigns

    Only shaming has a chance of ending this

  18. Onnyjay says

    Is Borin’ Orrin still pretending to be straight?? Puh-leez, that old queen should quit trying to help the gop steal more elections and worry about what planet he’s going to rule when he goes to Mormon heaven. Beneath contempt.

  19. Mic says

    If Orrin is a closet homo and a mormon, he’s a fool to think that Uncle Joesph (Satlin?, Smith?) is going to give Orrin a planet.

  20. Jay says

    Well the judge was following the example of Justice Kennedy. Last I looked Justice Kennedy is a United States Supreme Court Justice. While I am sure the GOP will consider this judicial activism because they disagree with the ruling, their animus, which for those whom do not know what it means:
    animus |ˈanəməs|
    1 hostility or ill feeling: the author’s animus toward her.
    2 motivation to do something: the reformist animus came from within the Party.

    Their animus is clearly on the Congressional Record, and I would in the spirit of Mitt Romney bet $10,000.00 that the people who filed this brief are on the record stating that homosexuality is “immoral,” “depraved,” “unnatural,” “based on perversion” and “an attack on god’s principles.” during the original DOMA congressional debates.

  21. anon says

    The congressional record is certainly fair game for judicial review, and that’s why everyone goes “on record”. They get to decide what they put in there, so it’s completely fair game. It just never the deciding factor in a case though.

  22. Davis says

    Have u noticed the list of new so called amici r all from southern states where they totally oppose same-sex marriage. Out of the new 9 names only 3 r from other places. And why pick 2 from Mississippi of all places. I live in Mississippi and believe me they don’t like us gays here!!!! Just thought this was funny!!