Legal filings in Edith Windsor's challenge to the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act could be completed as early as August 19, according to an order filed today by the magistrate judge overseeing this part of the case.
The discovery and briefing schedule in Windsor's case -- the first case in which the lawyers for the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) appeared in court in defense of the 1996 law -- was set by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV in a two-page order following the conference held in the case on May 9.
Although the briefing could be completed by mid-August, questions of whether the BLAG, only supported by its three Republican members, will call expert witnesses to testify in the case and whether it will file a motion to dismiss the challenge could extend that timeline to as late as Sept. 23, according to the order.
The discovery phase of the case, in which parties exchange evidence, is to be completed by July 11.
Windsor's motion for summary judgment -- in which she is expected to argue that there are no disputed matters of fact that would require a trial and that Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutionally required her to pay a $350,000 estate tax bill following the death of her wife, Thea Spyer -- will be due June 24 (or July 15 if the BLAG calls experts to testify in the case).
The BLAG's response -- and a motion to dismiss the case, if it chooses to do so -- will be due Aug. 1 (or Aug 15 if the BLAG has called expert witnesses).
A reply, or final, brief is due from Windsor's counsel approximately two weeks later, to be followed -- if the BLAG files a motion to dismiss -- by the reply brief from the BLAG counsel approximately two weeks after that.
Read the scheduling order: Windsor - Scheduling Order.pdf