USA: Prop 8/Defense of Marriage Act Updates 3/7/13

Written by scott on March 7th, 2013

Defense of Marriage ActLots to share as always of late about the Prop 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases before the US Supreme Court.

We’ll start with Keen news, which launched the first of a new series on the cases looking at what might happen when the Supreme Court hears them:

But the Supreme Court may end up issuing no ruling in either case. How is that possible? It’s possible because the Supreme Court can choose to consider whatever questions it wants to on a case, regardless of what question a party to the litigation has posed in bringing the case to the court.

How would that play out? On Prop 8:

For instance, one law professor and former advisor to the Department of Justice under Presidents Clinton and Bush, Marty Lederman, thinks lack of standing in the Proposition 8 case could mean as little as the grant of marriage licenses to the two plaintiff couples only. That’s what Yes on 8 proponents argue, too. But others, including UCLA law professor Erwin Chermerinsky say no standing in the Prop 8 case means California officials would have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples anywhere in the state. And many experts believe there could be additional litigation over that matter, too.

Prop 8On DOMA:

“It would mean that DOMA would be unenforceable in some instances but not others for at least some period of time, and that there would need to be new suit after suit after suit until a married same-sex couple actually lost and appealed before the higher courts could rule on the issue,” said Davidson. But another alternative scenario, said both Davidson and Chermerinsky, is that the Obama administration could–if the Supreme Court decides not to rule in Windsor–is issue an executive order saying it will stop enforcing DOMA Section 3.

It’s a great article – hit the link above to read the whole thing.

On Top Magazine has more on the NAACP’s brief against DOMA:

The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (NAACP LDF) has called on the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), saying that the 1996 law “perpetuates a social hierarchy” similar to the “separate but equal” system of segregation, also known as Jim Crow laws.

Over at Metro Weekly, Will O’Bryan muses on marriage and meteorites:

About 20 days ago, a blazing meteorite tore through our atmosphere and exploded over Russia. This was a minor rock, relatively speaking, didn’t even see it coming. We had our eyes on ”DA14,” the much bigger threat that happened to be flying by on the same day and which could’ve inflicted vastly more damage than its little unnamed cousin did. Still, with about a thousand injuries, I don’t think I would find the former at all minor if I’d spent Feb. 15 in a Russian clinic having the glass of a blown-out window extracted from my flesh. Looking in the other direction, about 20 days forward to March 26, that’s the date for opening arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case challenging California’s law against marriage equality. The National Organization for Marriage is marking the occasion – along with the usual suspects – with the March for Marriage.

Over at, Ari Ezra Waldman analyzes President Obama’s brief on Prop 8:

His so-called “8 State Solution” would delegitimize the gay marriage bans in those states that, like California, accord gay persons every possible right — second parent adoption, domestic partnerships, benefits, and so forth — but simply deny them the word “marriage.”… The problem is that, when read in the context of the entire brief, the 8 State Solution makes no sense. If the Court takes the President’s argument seriously, the justices need not stop at just 8 states. The President’s theory could invalidate all marriage discrimination against gays.

Over at the Dish, Andrew Sullivan talks about congress’s evolution on DOMA and marriage equality:

On Friday, 212 members of Congress, 172 representatives and 40 senators, filed an historic brief in support of Edie Windsor’s challenge to the discriminatory and unconstitutional so-called Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) exclusion of married same-sex couples from marriage-based federal responsibilities and rights. This amicus brief stands in dramatic contrast to the overwhelming support for DOMA when it was passed by Congress in 1996.

19 more days…


Leave a Comment