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The Senate Judiciary Committee next week will debate the ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriage, according to a meeting agenda released Oct. 25. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee’s chairman, sets the committee’s agenda and has made clear his desire to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. All of the committee’s Democrats, including Leahy, are supporting repeal legislation, and the bill’s main sponsor is Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the Judiciary Committee. The committee’s meeting on Nov. 3 is expected to be the beginning of debate on the legislation. Under the committee’s rules, any committee member may request a one-time delay of one week or one meeting, whichever is longer, before voting on legislation. Members request that delay as a matter of routine, so a vote before Nov. 10 is unlikely. In July, Leahy held a hearing on the legislation where the committee gathered testimony from people affected by the 1996 law and from opponents and supporters of its repeal. A spokeswoman for Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee’s ranking Republican, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the scheduling. On the other side of the Capitol building, House Republicans took up the defense of DOMA after President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said they would no longer advocate for the law in court. Bancroft’s Paul Clement is the lead outside counsel for the House, at a price tag of up to $1.5 million. Contact David Ingram at [email protected].

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