The History of the BLAG

January 22nd, 2013

I did not know this.

* The United States House of Representatives has articulated its institutional position in litigation matters through a fivemember bipartisan leadership group since at least the early 1980’s (although the formulation of the group’s name has changed somewhat over time). Since 1993, the House rules have formally acknowledged and referred to the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, as such, in connection with its function of providing direction to the Office of the General Counsel. See, e.g., Rule I.11, Rules of the House of Representatives, 103rd Cong. (1993); Rule II.8, Rules of the House of Representatives, 112th Cong. (2011). While the group seeks consensus whenever possible, it, like the institution it represents, functions on a majoritarian basis when consensus cannot be achieved. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group currently is comprised of the Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker of the House, the Honorable Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, the Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, and the Honorable Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip. The Democratic Leader and the Democratic Whip have declined to support the position taken by the Group on the merits of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this and other cases.

How are members appointed to the BLAG? Are the three members always the position of the majority party?