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Breaking News: Scotus Rules Doma Unconstitutional


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Per SCOTUSblog, it looks like they will dismiss Perry for lack of standing (the Chief pointed out in his dissent the incongruity of allowing this case to be decided while apparently dismissing Perry on the same grounds).

It was a great test case -- I assumed it would come down that way. Almost no one believes this was a fair application of DOMA.

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P.S., even though I agree in the result, here is exhibit "A" for why I emoticon-0152-heart.png Antonin Scalia:

"Some might conclude that this loaf could have used awhile longer in the oven. But that would be wrong; it is already overcooked. The most expert care in preparation cannot redeem a bad recipe."

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More from Scalia in the DOMA case:

"As I have observed before, the Constitution does not forbid the government to enforce traditional moral and sexual norms. See Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558, 599 (2003) (SCALIA, J., dissenting). I will not swell the U. S. Reports with restatements of that point."

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P.S., even though I agree in the result, here is exhibit "A" for why I emoticon-0152-heart.png Antonin Scalia:

"Some might conclude that this loaf could have used awhile longer in the oven. But that would be wrong; it is already overcooked. The most expert care in preparation cannot redeem a bad recipe."

One of my favorite gifts from graduation was a book titled "Scalia Dissents." He just has a way with words and humor that anyone can recognize, whether they agree with his constitutional interpretations or not.

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Still more gems from Scalia in Windsor (by the way, I'm buying that book, Goucho):

"The majority concludes that the only motive for this Act was the 'bare . . . desire to harm a politically unpopular group.' Ante, at 20. Bear in mind that the object of this condemnation is not the legislature of some once-Confederate Southern state (familiar objects of the Court’s scorn, see, e.g., Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U. S. 578 (1987)), but our respected coordinate branches, the Congress and Presidency of the United States. Laying such a charge against them should require the most extraordinary evidence, and I would have thought that every attempt would be made to indulge a more anodyne explanation for the statute. The majority does the opposite—affirmatively concealing from the reader the arguments that exist in justification. It makes only a passing mention of the 'arguments put forward' by the Act’s defenders, and does not even trouble to paraphrase or describe them. See ante, at 21. I imagine that this is because it is harder to maintain the illusion of the Act’s supporters as unhinged members of a wild-eyed lynch mob when one first describes their views as they see them."

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(P.S., this summarizes the approach of far too many same-sex marriage advocates in a nutshell).

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One of my favorite lines from the dissent, solely because of the vocabulary. "As I have said, the real rationale of today’s opinion, whatever disappearing trail of its legalistic argle-bargle one chooses to follow, is that DOMA is motivated by “‘bare . . . desire to harm.’”

That being said, the court does gloss over the arguments in favor of DOMA in the opinion. One of the first things I learned as a 1L was not to ignore opposing arguments, though I have admittedly never written an opinion that was deemed binding precedent.

Great win today for equality, following a great loss for equality and democracy in Texas.

On the surface yes, but the article 3 standing decision in Perry was not a validation of state sanctioned same sex marriage, and the SCOTUS punted on the question of full faith and credit in the Windsor decision. Partial victory, but as Scalia pointed out in his dissent in Windsor, the opinions give the ammo to the pro-same-sex marriage camp with which to attack state level bans. While I hope that same sex marriage one day achieves full recognition under the law, doing so on dubious or tenuous legal foundations is not the way to do it.

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Good, it was Federally supported discrimination based off nothing but the Irrational thoughts of God fearing Christians that couldn't even put together a tangible reason why it was needed in the first place.

I hope all crap like this is gutted soon.

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Can someone please break all this down for us simpletons who aren't well versed in law-talk.

The portion of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits, including tax exemptions, to same-sex couples who are legally married in a state was struck down. The portion of DOMA that allows states to define their own marriage laws and refuse to accept same-sex marriages from other states was unchallenged and therefore is still law.

California's Proposition 8 challenge was dismissed based on lack of standing, which means that the District Court's Order striking down Proposition 8 stands. Basically, because the public officials of California refused to defend Prop 8, the Court held no one could do so in their stead. So in California, subject to some open questions about the scope of the Order, marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples, but the Ninth Circuit ruling which held that the U.S. Constitution prohibited denial of same-sex marriage was struck down.

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Gay marriage is inevitable ... no matter which side one leans. Personally, I'm against it and it could open the door to some dangerous situations down the road.

What? gays being as miserable as the rest of us married people? Federally sponsored discrimination needs to be eliminated in every place it still exists.

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The portion of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits, including tax exemptions, to same-sex couples who are legally married in a state was struck down. The portion of DOMA that allows states to define their own marriage laws and refuse to accept same-sex marriages from other states was unchallenged and therefore is still law.

California's Proposition 8 challenge was dismissed based on lack of standing, which means that the District Court's Order striking down Proposition 8 stands. Basically, because the public officials of California refused to defend Prop 8, the Court held no one could do so in their stead. So in California, subject to some open questions about the scope of the Order, marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples, but the Ninth Circuit ruling which held that the U.S. Constitution prohibited denial of same-sex marriage was struck down.

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Can someone please break all this down for us simpletons who aren't well versed in law-talk.

There are better lawyers in this very thread than I, but here goes. Today, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS from here on out) ruled on two major cases dealing with same sex marriage. US v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. I will address each below.

US v. Windsor:

This was a case in which a same sex couple was married in Canada, and had their marriage recognized in new york. When one of them passed away, the estate passed to the surviving spouse. In a traditional marriage, there are tax breaks when a surviving spouse inherits property from the deceased spouse, however the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevented the federal government from recognizing the same sex marriage, so the tax breaks that would normally be available weren't applied, and the survinging spouse was required to pay a 300K tax bill. The court today ruled that that application and aspect of DOMA was unconstitutional as it denied to US citizens "Equal Protection Under the Law." The court voted 5 to 4 that the law harmed some citizens of the US arbitratily and put them in a lesser position in the eyes of the law. There are other aspects of DOMA which the court did not address (most notably, the portion that does not require a state to recognize a same sex marriage that was entered into in another state). This issue will likely come up later, and for further reading, look up "full faith and credit" which basically means the states should recognize the governmental and legal determinations of other states (ie: court judgments and government issued documents). In one sense, the court limited the scope of DOMA restrictions on federal recognition of same sex marriage, but it did not hold that same sex marriage was universally constitutional in the US.

Hollingsworth v. Perry:

In Perry, the court issued a much more narrow ruling. Basically, California enacted Prop 8 several years ago, then when the Act was ruled unconstitutional, California declined to appeal the ruling. A group of citizens decided to challenge that ruling. Essentially, the court simply stated that the citizens did not have standing to challenge the decision. Standing has several components, but the one at issue here is whether the citizens were an "injured party". The court held that the citizens were not, and as such did not have standing to challenge the court's decision. The SCOTUS dismissed the case and sent it back to the federal appeals court from which it came, which for all intents and purposes means that Prop 8 in California is dead and same sex marriages will resume in CA shortly.

I could be off on some of this as I didn't really delve to deeply into this stuff, but that is my opinion.

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There are better lawyers in this very thread than I, but here goes. Today, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS from here on out) ruled on two major cases dealing with same sex marriage. US v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. I will address each below.

US v. Windsor:

This was a case in which a same sex couple was married in Canada, and had their marriage recognized in new york. When one of them passed away, the estate passed to the surviving spouse. In a traditional marriage, there are tax breaks when a surviving spouse inherits property from the deceased spouse, however the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevented the federal government from recognizing the same sex marriage, so the tax breaks that would normally be available weren't applied, and the survinging spouse was required to pay a 300K tax bill. The court today ruled that that application and aspect of DOMA was unconstitutional as it denied to US citizens "Equal Protection Under the Law." The court voted 5 to 4 that the law harmed some citizens of the US arbitratily and put them in a lesser position in the eyes of the law. There are other aspects of DOMA which the court did not address (most notably, the portion that does not require a state to recognize a same sex marriage that was entered into in another state). This issue will likely come up later, and for further reading, look up "full faith and credit" which basically means the states should recognize the governmental and legal determinations of other states (ie: court judgments and government issued documents). In one sense, the court limited the scope of DOMA restrictions on federal recognition of same sex marriage, but it did not hold that same sex marriage was universally constitutional in the US.

Hollingsworth v. Perry:

In Perry, the court issued a much more narrow ruling. Basically, California enacted Prop 8 several years ago, then when the Act was ruled unconstitutional, California declined to appeal the ruling. A group of citizens decided to challenge that ruling. Essentially, the court simply stated that the citizens did not have standing to challenge the decision. Standing has several components, but the one at issue here is whether the citizens were an "injured party". The court held that the citizens were not, and as such did not have standing to challenge the court's decision. The SCOTUS dismissed the case and sent it back to the federal appeals court from which it came, which for all intents and purposes means that Prop 8 in California is dead and same sex marriages will resume in CA shortly.

I could be off on some of this as I didn't really delve to deeply into this stuff, but that is my opinion.

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Good, it was Federally supported discrimination based off nothing but the Irrational thoughts of God fearing Christians that couldn't even put together a tangible reason why it was needed in the first place.

I hope all crap like this is gutted soon.

LOL!!! This is the post modern, pseudo progressive, hyper tolerance outlook. Be tolerant of EVERYONE, so long as they are not Christian.

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