Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More Oral On Same-Sex Marriage

Today, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the United States v Windsor, E. case.

DOMA was championed by President Bill Clinton. It passed both houses of congress, including 84 US Senators voting in favor of the act. Clinton signed the bill into law.

The law defines marriage as applicable to all federal code, such as tax code, military benefits, social security survivor benefits, etc. to be a union of one man to one woman.

Reading the transcription, it seems highly likely that the ruling may favor striking the act as unconstitutional. It appears they may accept the argument that the act exceeded the enumerated powers of congress listed in Article 1 Section 8 as well as the 10th Amendment. The court's decision isn't scheduled until June.

Such a ruling would have bearing upon the Proposition 8 opinion, which is expected in June as well. A ruling against DOMA based upon the 10th Amendment would strengthen upholding California's controversial amendment. Several justices seemed to uphold North Carolina and other state's rights to define marriage in their state constitutions. Holding to that, they also seemed to, on the same principle, hold to the rights of the 9 states that have decided to legally define marriage to allow for same-sex unions.

The written transcript is available on the US Supreme Court's site along with several options to download the audio files of the oral arguments.