Massachusetts Marriage Equality - Federal Judge Puts DOMA Down
From AMERICAblog, section 3 of DOMA deemed unconstitutional:
I keep finding nuggets in the ruling. This is one of my favorites in the Gill decision, "DOMA fails to pass constitutional muster even under the highly deferential rational basis test." The judge didn't even get to higher scrutiny, because DOMA doesn't even meet the most basic legal test for legislation.
And, here's the conclusion of the Mass. case:
This court has determined that it is clearly within the authority of the Commonwealth to recognize same-sex marriages among its residents, and to afford those individuals in same-sex marriages any benefits, rights, and privileges to which they are entitled by virtue of their marital status. The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and, in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment. For that reason, the statute is invalid.
This also means the Department of Justice, OPM and HHS lost today. They'll have to decide if they want to appeal it. That's going to be an interesting decision on their part -- and will have important ramifications.
At that hearing, Christopher R. Hall, a lawyer for the US Justice Department, said President Obama opposes the 1996 law, agrees it is discriminatory, and supports its repeal.
Nonetheless, Hall said, the administration is following the longstanding practice of defending federal laws signed by previous presidents as long as the statutes are constitutional, which, Hall asserted, the law is. Hall said Congress and President Clinton, who signed the bill into law, had a legitimate interest in preserving marriage as a heterosexual institution 14 years ago.
It is not a foregone conclusion, he said, that the federal government would withhold funding if Massachusetts allowed gay married couples to be buried in veterans' cemeteries.
Never mind that it could end up in the loopy activist and right wing stacked SCOTUS.
For now? A special note to NOM: