The Obama Administration Friday answered critics urging them to weigh in on the marriage equality cases currently before the supreme court by submitting an amicus brief, LGBTQ Nation reports:
Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.
Edge Boston adds:
Verrilli addresses another hot-button issue head-on in his brief — perhaps the most controversial one of all. “Moral opposition to homosexuality, though it may reflect deeply held personal views, is not a legitimate policy objective that can justify unequal treatment of gay and lesbian people.” This basically throws out all of the extra-legal arguments based on religion, natural law, procreation, hygiene and the rest of the reasoning among the religious right and cultural conservatives.
Edge Boston also notes that the Prop 8 case may not get similar treatment:
The administration has not indicated whether or not it will similarly interject itself into the Prop. 8 case. Since this is dealing with one state, the president is not officially involved. Even so, don’t be surprised if the Justice Department files an amicus curiae brief in that one.
On the other side, Attorney Paul Clement is claiming the DoJ doesn’t have standing to argue in this case. The Washington Blade reports:
BLAG argues the Justice Department lacks standing because the Obama administration received the result it wanted from lower courts — including the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals — striking down DOMA. “It obtained the precise relief it believed was appropriate based on the precise theory (heightened scrutiny) it advocated,” the brief states. “The executive can fare no better before this Court. While this Court’s affirmance would have a greater precedential impact, the executive cannot ground its appellate standing on a desire for an opinion with the identical effect on this case and controversy, but a broader precedential scope for other cases.”
I’m not a lawyer, but this sounds like bulls**t to me.