USA: First Impressions on the Defense of Marriage Act Hearing

Written by scott on March 27th, 2013

Defense of Marriage ActThe reporting is starting to roll in on the DOMA hearing. SDGLN thinks the Justices don’t like the law very much:

The initial impression is that if the high court takes the case, instead of refusing it because of serious questions about legal standing, it that a clear majority of justices are in favor of striking down DOMA… Just like Tuesday during the oral arguments involving California’s Proposition 8, some members of the high court questioned whether the government is applying a double standard, saying on one hand that the law is unconstitutional yet at the same time enforcing the law. Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the swing vote, clearly seemed bothered by the constitutionality of DOMA. This could also help influence his vote on Proposition 8, where it appears he holds the decisive vote. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan appeared to view the DOMA case as a gay-rights case and against the law’s unconstitutionality. has a couple breaking tweets from the courtroom:

REUTERS: Tweet: “Supreme Court conservative justices say they’re troubled by Obama’s refusal to defend marriage law.”

SCOTUSblog: Tweet: “#doma jurisdiction argument continues with no clear indication of whether a majority believes #scotus has the power to decide the case.”

“Final update: #scotus 80% likely to strike down #doma. J Kennedy suggests it violates states’ rights; 4 other Justices see as gay rights.”

Tweet: “J Kennedy asks two questions doubting #doma validity but nothing decisive and Chief Justice and Kagan have yet to speak.”

The The Wall Street Journal’s take, from their liveblog of the proceedings:

Justice Kennedy, however, jumped in with federalism concerns, questioning whether the federal government was intruding on the states’ territory. With there being so many different federal laws, the federal government is intertwined with citizens’ day-to-day lives, he said. Because of this, DOMA runs the risk of running into conflict with the states’ role in defining marriage, he said.

More to come.


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