I was asked to do a play-by-play on the morning’s SCOTUS rulings at Ricochet.com. So I present you a somewhat truncated version of that post. Mostly because I’m lazy and do this for free.
As I expected, the Supreme Court has just issued its opinion that the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by Bill Clinton, is unconstitutional.
The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the liberal justices and Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas dissenting.
DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.
“DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled ot recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.”
The opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful marriages.
More on DOMA from SCOTUSblog:
The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others.
An aside: This is vintage Kennedy.
I was wrong on the Prop 8 decision, though. I thought the Court would uphold the California voters’ decision. But ultimately, they ruled on standing not merit of the case.
From Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed (who is also a lawyer) has this to say about Prop 8 decision:
Today’s decision means the trial-court decision striking down #Prop8 stands. Questions remain whether that can & will be enforced statewide.
Here’s an attempt at interpretation on Prop 8 ruling from SCOTUSblog:
Here’s a Plain English take on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage: After the two same-sex couples filed their challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court in California, the California government officials who would normally have defended the law in court, declined to do so. So the proponents of Proposition 8 stepped in to defend the law, and the California Supreme Court (in response to a request by the lower court) ruled that they could do so under state law. But today the Supreme Court held that the proponents do not have the legal right to defend the law in court. As a result, it held, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the intermediate appellate court, has no legal force, and it sent the case back to that court with instructions for it to dismiss the case.
So there you go. As we’ve said all along here at GayPatriot, this should be a state issue. Now jubilant low-information gays prancing around Chelsea and The Castro agree with us, even though they don’t know why!
Reminder: We have the worst economic conditions since 1939. Priorities.