O’Melveny’s Sestito Quoted in Bloomberg on Nevada’s Move to Withdraw Support of Same-Sex Marriage Ban

February 11, 2014

O’Melveny & Myers partner Dawn Sestito was quoted in Bloomberg’s February 11, 2014, article, “Nevada Withdraws Appeal to Uphold Same-Sex Marriage Ban.”

Sestito and other lawyers from O’Melveny are working alongside Lambda Legal and Snell & Wilmer LLP as pro bono co-counsel to the plaintiffs in Sevcik v. Sandoval, a suit brought by eight same-sex couples challenging Nevada’s law banning same-sex marriage.  The lawsuit argues that barring same-sex couples from marriage violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the US Constitution.  A US District Court judge granted Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit in November 2012, and Lambda Legal appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit.  As reported by Bloomberg, the state withdrew its appeal on February 10, noting in its filing that the court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act established an “authoritative and relevant” precedent that discrimination against same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

“We’re delighted,” Sestito said, adding that Nevada’s withdrawal from the appeal would not end the case because the plaintiffs still seek to have the ban overturned.

In addition to Sestito, O’Melveny’s team on the case includes partner Carla Christofferson and associates Dimitri Portnoi, Melanie Cristol, and Rahi Azizi.