February 4, 2014 at 12:15 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Court won’t allow DOMA lawyer to intervene in Utah case

gay marriage, same sex marriage, marriage equality, Roberta Kaplan, Defense of Marriage Act, Supreme Court, gay news, Washington Blade

DOMA attorney Roberta Kaplan was denied intervenor status in the Utah marriage case (Blade file photo by Michael Key).

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals denied on Monday a request from the lawyer who successfully argued against the Defense of Marriage Act a chance to intervene in the federal lawsuit seeking marriage equality in Utah.

In a brief one-page order, Elisabeth Shumaker, clerk of the court, indicates the motion to intervene was denied for Roberta Kaplan, a New York attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

On behalf of three same-sex couples seeking marriage rights in Utah, Kaplan filed a request last week seeking status as an intervenor in the lawsuit. The case is known as Kitchen v. Herbert and is pending before the Tenth Circuit.

Joining the lawsuit would have meant having the ability to file intervenor briefs and participate in oral arguments, which are scheduled for April 10. Kaplan indicated in her filing that she’d participate in the case as a friend of the court if she were denied intervenor status.

Kaplan, who herself is in a same-sex marriage, gained notoriety last year when she successfully argued on behalf of lesbian widow Edith Windsor the case of United States v. Windsor, which led to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Section 3 of DOMA.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Jim Hall

    From your article, “Kaplan, who herself is in a same-sex marriage, gained notoriety last year when she successfully argued on behalf of lesbian widow Edith Windsor”. “Gained notoriety”? Notoriety is a negative descriptor. How is what Ms. Kaplan did a negative?

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