DOJ Steps Back on Joint Filings by Same-Sex Married Couples

In June, a California bankruptcy court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional as it applied to a same-sex couple who had filed a joint bankruptcy petition.  The case was unusual in that 20 bankruptcy judges signed the order rather than just the judge hearing the case.

Now, true to the statement from the Obama administration in February of this year, the Justice Department has requested leave to withdraw its Motion to Dismiss the bankruptcy case and has withdrawn its objection to the petition of another same-sex couple in California.  Reuters is reporting that Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said:

The Department of Justice has informed bankruptcy courts that it will no longer seek dismissal of bankruptcy petitions filed jointly by same-sex debtors who are married under state law,

and that

[t]he decision to stop filing motions to dismiss bankruptcy petitions avoids generating costly and time-consuming constitutional litigation.