Saturday, February 23, 2013

Montana's DOMA amendment doomed

This latter-day update comes on the heels of an announcement that another federal court of appeals ruled the Bush-era Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional; and, if the epidemic of judges overturning cases in Montana is any guide, the state's initiated law affirming DOMA is doomed in part because of another appeal before the Supreme Court of the United States.

From Chris Geidner's piece posted at BuzzFeed:
The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act's prohibition on recognition of same-sex couples' marriages in a Friday filing, arguing that laws that target gay people should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them. Under such heightened scrutiny, as it is called, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli says that Section 3 of DOMA, which defines "spouse" and "marriage" under federal law as only those marriages between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.
The Roberts Court is still under fire for its judicial activism from frequent NPR guest, Jeffrey Rosen:
Essentially Roberts came into office telling me and other journalists that he would make it his goal as chief justice to promote consensus and avoid five-to-four decisions. He said it was bad for the court and bad for the country in a polarized time, for the court to divide along ideological lines.
From Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog:
Without creating any new constitutional right for gays and lesbians to get married, the First Circuit Court on Thursday ruled that Congress did not have the power to intrude on the choice of states — like Massachusetts — to create such a right under state law. The Circuit Court stressed, near the end of its opinion, that it was not relying on the challenge by gay rights advocates that DOMA had a “hidden but dominant purpose” of “hostility to homosexuality.” It conceded that some lawmakers had that in mind, but others may have had different reasons.
Having six members of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers where five rule on the same side each time a Vatican-lobbied case comes before an entrenched 5-4 Court should frighten everyone.

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