Step 1 for Obama
I wasn't sure whether to write this diary, because kevinchi has a good discussion going already. But I feel I must speak up separately nonetheless.
There is a whole road for the administration to take to get out of the mess they got themselves in. But the absolutely #1 step is this.
President Obama's DOJ needs to amend the brief as will be detailed below. If it is impossible to amend at this time (don't know appellate time limits), the DOJ lawyers must state during the oral argument that DOJ will not be making an argument on any issue other than standing.
The DOJ attorney HAS to state before the Court that the government is not arguing on the merits of the case because
– the argument made in the brief on the merits that federal part of DOMA is constitutional can not stand even the light of rational inquiry
– “limited government resources” is not a strong enough reason to deny a right to a class of citizens
– a law that denies a right to only one class of citizens is not “neutral,” precisely because it denies the right to only one class of citizens
That is the first step in the right direction. Show us you do not agree with the statements made in the brief.
Now, I do not remember the rest of that brief, and actually am in a hurry, but feel free to add other things from the brief.