Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is asking to go back to the Supreme Court.
In a July 2 filing noted on the Supreme Court docket, lawyers for the governor have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a September 2011 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that had the effect of keeping same-sex partners’ health-care benefits in place in the state.
After the 2011 decision, lawyers for the state asked the Ninth Circuit to re-hear the case en banc, or by an 11-judge panel. On April 3, the Ninth Circuit denied the request, starting the 90-day clock for the governor to file a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to take the case.
The Ninth Circuit ruling, which upheld a trial-court ruling, kept an Arizona law from going into effect that, as the appeals court held, “would have terminated eligibility for health-care benefits of state employees’ same-sex partners.”
Paula S. Bickett, the chief counsel for Civil Appeals in Arizona Attorney General’s Tom Horne (R)’s office, is the counsel of record for the Gov. Brewer. Lambda Legal is representing the plaintiff couples, who have until August 6 to submit their response to the governor’s petition.
The case, Brewer v. Diaz, is No. 12-23 on the Supreme Court docket.
In addition to this case, the Department of Justice on July 3 asked that multiple challenges to the federal definition of marriage contained in the Defense of Marriage Act be heard by the Supreme Court. Additionally, a filing to request Supreme Court review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision striking down California’s Proposition 8 also is expected in the coming months.