If Protect Marriage doesn't have standing, then they don't have standing.
That is a tricky issue in this case and the DOMA case coming up tomorrow. It also may be an issue in future cases on this subject, which absolutely will keep coming. What makes it tricky is the unusual circumstance of a government not trying to defend its own law. The State of California is not defending Prop 8 and the U. S. Dept. of Justice is not defending DOMA. Typically, the government which enacts a law attempts to defend it when it is challenged.
In these cases, and likely many more to come, governments have political reasons not to defend the law. Some government officials (like President Obama) favor gay marriage rights and will not defend it for that reason. Others may oppose gay marriage and fear the possibility of a sweeping Supreme Court precedent that will apply everywhere and not appeal adverse lower court decisions that affect only limited areas.
In this situation, where governments take the unusual step of not defending their own laws, there arises a serious question as to whether we should let someone else do it. The House committee is defending DOMA and their standing is being questioned, too. But if the Justice Department won't defend it, and the House can't, and California won't defend Prop 8 and Protect Marriage can't, then we are essentially giving governors, attorneys general and presidents the right to simply ignore laws they don't like or artificially protect laws they don't want tested. Surely, this can't be a desirable situation for the long term, especially if the strategy becomes more common after being employed successfully in these cases. On the other hand, we also don't want to let just anybody who feels like it jump into any case they want.
I could see a rational argument that the House of Representatives could have standing to defend a federal statute while a private special interest group like Protect Marriage would have no standing to defend a law, but then that would get complicated, too, when you have to decide which bodies or agencies of government can act independently of the attorney general or Dept. of Justice to defend a law. If the House can, then the Senate presumably could. If the full House or Senate can, then could a collection of Representatives or Senators who do not have the support of the full body do it?
Like I said, it's a tricky issue.
This post was edited on 3/26 at 4:46 pm