December 7, 2012, - 4:06 pm
It’s official: gay marriage will probably soon be the law of the land. Is marriage between 3 people or between a person and another being next? The U.S. Supreme Court decided today to hear two cases on gay marriage and decide the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Prop 8, which says marriage is only between one male and one female (as it should be). I predict–with the way things are going–that the Court will overturn the decision of California’s voters and legalize gay marriage (or as gays have cleverly branded it, “marriage equality”). Don’t count out Justice John Roberts, who had no prob backing ObamaCare. I wouldn’t be shocked if he does the same baloney with these cases.
What do you think? Will the Supremes make gay marriage the law of the land? We’re becoming Europe even faster than you or I had earlier diagnosed.
One of the cases, from California, could establish or reject a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Another case, from New York, challenges a federal law that requires the federal government to deny benefits to gay and lesbian couples married in states that allow such unions. . . .
The new California case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144, was filed in 2009. . . . The suit argued that California’s voters had violated the federal Constitution the previous year when they overrode a decision of the state’s Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriages. . . .
The Supreme Court has several options in reviewing the decision. It could reverse it, leaving California’s ban on same-sex marriage in place unless voters there choose to revisit the question. It could affirm on the narrower theory, which would allow same-sex marriage in California but not require it elsewhere. Or it could address the broader question of whether the Constitution requires states to allow such marriages.
The second case the court agreed to hear, United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307, challenges a part of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. Section 3 of the law defines marriage as between only a man and a woman for purposes of more than 1,000 federal laws and programs. (Another part of the law, not before the court, says that states need not recognize same-sex marriages from other states.)
The case concerns two New York City women, Edith Windsor and Thea Clara Spyer, who were married in 2007 in Canada. Ms. Spyer died in 2009, and Ms. Windsor inherited her property. The 1996 law did not allow the Internal Revenue Service to treat Ms. Windsor as a surviving spouse, and she faced a tax bill of some $360,000 that a spouse in an opposite-sex marriage would not have had to pay.
Ms. Windsor sued, and in October the federal appeals court in New York struck down the 1996 law. The decision was the second from a federal appeals court to do so, joining one in May from a court in Boston. The New York decision was the first from a federal appeals court to say that laws treating same-sex couples differently must be subjected to heightened judicial scrutiny.
Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself because she previously worked on gay marriage cases. But she won’t.
And I predict that gay marriage will, sadly, be the law of the land when this is all over. Your predictions? Why or why not?
Tags: Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, Gay Marriage, John Roberts, Justice John Roberts, marriage equality, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court