You are on page 1of 9

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO



ADA MERCEDES CONDE VIDAL and
IVONNE LVAREZ VLEZ; MARITZA
LPEZ AVILS and IRIS DELIA RIVERA
RIVERA; JOS A. TORRUELLAS IGLESIAS
and THOMAS J. ROBINSON; ZULMA
OLIVERAS VEGA and YOLANDA ARROYO
PIZARRO; JOHANNE VLEZ GARCA and
FAVIOLA MELNDEZ RODRGUEZ; and
PUERTO RICO PARA TOD@S,

Plaintiffs,

v.

ALEJANDRO J. GARCA PADILLA, in his
official capacity as Governor of the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; ANA RIUS
ARMENDARIZ, in her official capacity as
Secretary of the Health Department of the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; WANDA
LLOVET DAZ, in her official capacity as
Director of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Registrar of Vital Records; and MELBA ACOSTA
FEBO, in her official capacity as Director of the
Treasury in Puerto Rico,

Defendants.




Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-01253-PG



PLAINTIFFS MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SUR-REPLY

COME NOW Plaintiffs, Ada M. Conde Vidal and Ivonne lvarez Vlez, by and through
their attorney; and Plaintiffs Maritza Lpez Avils and Iris Delia Rivera Rivera, Jos A.
Torruellas Iglesias and Thomas J. Robinson, Zulma Oliveras Vega and Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro,
Johanne Vlez Garca and Faviola Melndez Rodrguez, and the organization Puerto Rico Para
Tod@s, by and through their attorneys (collectively Plaintiffs), and respectfully request leave
Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55 Filed 10/16/14 Page 1 of 4
2


to file a sur-reply to Defendants Reply to Opposition to Defendants Motion to Dismiss (Dkt.
53) (the Reply):
1. On August 27, 2014, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), Dkt. 31, and on September 15, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a
Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants Motion. Dkt. 45. On October 10, 2014, Defendants
filed the Reply. Dkt. 53.
2. Defendants Reply raised a new argument concerning the effect of the Supreme
Courts recent denial of multiple petitions for certiorari in cases involving similar Marriage
Bans. In order to respond to this new argument and to clarify the effect of these denials of
certiorari, Plaintiffs seek leave to file the accompanying short sur-reply, which is submitted with
this motion.
WHEREFORE Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court grant this motion for leave to
file a sur-reply and accept the attached sur-reply.

Dated: October 16, 2014
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Omar Gonzalez-Pagan
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan*
Hayley Gorenberg*
Jael Humphrey-Skomer*
LAMBDA LEGAL DEFENSE &
EDUCATION FUND, INC.
120 Wall Street, 19
th
Floor
New York, New York 10005-3904
T: (212) 809-8585 | F: (212) 809-0055
ogonzalez-pagan@lambdalegal.org
hgorenberg@lambdalegal.org
jhumphrey@lambdalegal.org


Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55 Filed 10/16/14 Page 2 of 4
3


Gary W. Kubek*
Harriet M. Antczak*
Jing Kang*
DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON LLP
919 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
T: (212) 909-6000 | F: (212) 909-6836
gwkubek@debevoise.com
hmantcza@debevoise.com
jkang@debevoise.com

Ryan M. Kusmin*
DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON LLP
555 13th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
T: (202) 383-8000 | F: (202) 383-8118
rmkusmin@debevoise.com

Celina Romany-Siaca (USDCPR 121811)
Celina Romany Law Offices
268 Munoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 1500
San Juan, PR 00918
T: (787) 754-9304 | F: (787) 754-9324
bufetecelinaromany@gmail.com

Attorneys for Plaintiffs Maritza Lpez Avils
and Iris Delia Rivera Rivera; Jos A.
Torruellas Iglesias and Thomas J.
Robinson; Zulma Oliveras Vega and
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro; Johanne Vlez
Garca and Faviola Melndez Rodrguez;
and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s.

AND

/s/ Ada M. Conde Vidal
Ada M. Conde Vidal (USDCPR 206209)
Conde Attorney at Law, PSC
P.O. Box 13268
San Juan, PR 00908-3268
T: (787) 721-0401 | F: (787) 977-8072
condelawpr@gmail.com

Attorney for Plaintiffs Ada Mercedes Conde
Vidal and Ivonne lvarez Vlez
* Admitted pro hac vice
Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55 Filed 10/16/14 Page 3 of 4
4


CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, an attorney, certify that on October 16, 2014, I served upon
counsel for all parties by electronically filing the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court using the
CM/ECF system.

/s/ Omar Gonzalez-Pagan


Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55 Filed 10/16/14 Page 4 of 4



UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO


ADA MERCEDES CONDE VIDAL and
IVONNE LVAREZ VLEZ; MARITZA
LPEZ AVILS and IRIS DELIA RIVERA
RIVERA; JOS A. TORRUELLAS IGLESIAS
and THOMAS J. ROBINSON; ZULMA
OLIVERAS VEGA and YOLANDA ARROYO
PIZARRO; JOHANNE VLEZ GARCA and
FAVIOLA MELNDEZ RODRGUEZ; and
PUERTO RICO PARA TOD@S,

Plaintiffs,

v.

ALEJANDRO J. GARCA PADILLA, in his
official capacity as Governor of the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; ANA RIUS
ARMENDARIZ, in her official capacity as
Secretary of the Health Department of the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; WANDA
LLOVET DAZ, in her official capacity as
Director of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Registrar of Vital Records; and MELBA ACOSTA
FEBO, in her official capacity as Director of the
Treasury in Puerto Rico,

Defendants.




Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-01253-PG



PLAINTIFFS SUR-REPLY TO DEFENDANTS REPLY TO
OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO DISMISS

Pursuant to Local Rule 7(c), Plaintiffs Ada M. Conde Vidal and Ivonne lvarez Vlez,
by and through their attorney; and Plaintiffs Maritza Lpez Avils and Iris Delia Rivera Rivera,
Jos A. Torruellas Iglesias and Thomas J. Robinson, Zulma Oliveras Vega and Yolanda Arroyo
Pizarro, Johanne Vlez Garca and Faviola Melndez Rodrguez, and the organization Puerto
Rico Para Tod@s, by and through their attorneys (collectively Plaintiffs), respectfully submit
Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55-1 Filed 10/16/14 Page 1 of 5
2


the following sur-reply in response to Defendants Reply to Opposition to Motion to Dismiss
(Dkt. 53).
ARGUMENT
Defendants argue in their reply brief that because the Supreme Court on October 6, 2014,
refused to hear seven petitions for certiorari filed by five states (Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah,
Virginia and Wisconsin) seeking review of decisions by federal Courts of Appeals that struck
down those states marriage bans, Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972), continues to be binding
precedent. Dkt. 53 at 3. The denials of certiorari provide no support for Defendants argument,
and indeed, to the extent that any weight can be given to the denials of certiorari, they support
the opposite conclusion: that Baker is no longer binding law.
Defendants assert that by declining to hear these appeals, the Supreme Court rejected an
opportunity to expressly overrule Baker and left it standing as binding precedent. To the
contrary, the Courts denial of certiorari in these cases supports the conclusion that Baker is no
longer good law. Each of the decisions from which a writ of certiorari was sought held that
Baker is no longer binding precedent, and several of the petitions that the Court declined to hear
argued that the Courts of Appeals decisions directly conflicted with Baker. See Kitchen v.
Herbert, 755 F.3d 1193, 1205-08 (10th Cir. 2014) (concluding that Baker is no longer
controlling); Bostic v. Schaefer, 760 F.3d 352, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14298, *33-39 (4th Cir.
2014) (same); Baskin v. Bogan, No. 14-2386, No. 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17294, *34-35 (7th
Cir. 2014) (same).
By declining to hear these cases, the Supreme Court let stand decisions by three separate
Circuits that explicitly rejected Baker. Therefore, to the extent that any conclusion may be
drawn from these denials of certiorari, they do not support Defendants argument that Baker is
Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55-1 Filed 10/16/14 Page 2 of 5
3


controlling, but instead support the proposition that a majority of the Supreme Court recognizes
that Baker is no longer good law.
1

CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, and for the reasons stated in their Opposition to Defendants
Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 45), Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court deny Defendants
Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 31).
Dated: October 16, 2014
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Omar Gonzalez-Pagan
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan*
Hayley Gorenberg*
Jael Humphrey-Skomer*
LAMBDA LEGAL DEFENSE &
EDUCATION FUND, INC.
120 Wall Street, 19
th
Floor
New York, New York 10005-3904
T: (212) 809-8585 | F: (212) 809-0055
ogonzalez-pagan@lambdalegal.org
hgorenberg@lambdalegal.org
jhumphrey@lambdalegal.org

Gary W. Kubek*
Harriet M. Antczak*
Jing Kang*
DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON LLP
919 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
T: (212) 909-6000 | F: (212) 909-6836
gwkubek@debevoise.com
hmantcza@debevoise.com
jkang@debevoise.com

1
See Dale Carpenter, Symposium: Judge Suttons trilemma, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 7, 2014), available at
http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/10/symposium-judge-suttons-trilemma/ (While a denial of certiorari formally sets
no precedent on the merits, its very hard to see how the Court could have let stand without comment three court of
appeals decisions so at odds with its presumably clear guidance of forty-two years. If Baker really still controlled,
the Court could have issued a one-sentence reversal of the decisions from the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits.
It must be that the substantive constitutional law has changed enough that the matter is at least open to question in
the lower courts.).
Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55-1 Filed 10/16/14 Page 3 of 5
4



Ryan M. Kusmin*
DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON LLP
555 13th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
T: (202) 383-8000 | F: (202) 383-8118
rmkusmin@debevoise.com

Celina Romany-Siaca (USDCPR 121811)
Celina Romany Law Offices
268 Munoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 1500
San Juan, PR 00918
T: (787) 754-9304 | F: (787) 754-9324
bufetecelinaromany@gmail.com

Attorneys for Plaintiffs Maritza Lpez Avils
and Iris Delia Rivera Rivera; Jos A.
Torruellas Iglesias and Thomas J.
Robinson; Zulma Oliveras Vega and
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro; Johanne Vlez
Garca and Faviola Melndez Rodrguez;
and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s.

AND

/s/ Ada M. Conde Vidal
Ada M. Conde Vidal (USDCPR 206209)
Conde Attorney at Law, PSC
P.O. Box 13268
San Juan, PR 00908-3268
T: (787) 721-0401 | F: (787) 977-8072
condelawpr@gmail.com

Attorney for Plaintiffs Ada Mercedes Conde
Vidal and Ivonne lvarez Vlez

* Admitted pro hac vice

Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55-1 Filed 10/16/14 Page 4 of 5
5


CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, an attorney, certify that on October 16, 2014, I served upon
counsel for all parties by electronically filing the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court using the
CM/ECF system.

/s/ Omar Gonzalez-Pagan



Case 3:14-cv-01253-PG Document 55-1 Filed 10/16/14 Page 5 of 5