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130 Reps Ask Supreme Court to Strike Down DOMA

130 Reps Ask Supreme Court to Strike Down DOMA

 

One-hundred and thirty members of the U.S. House filed on Tuesday a brief asking the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold a lower court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

In the brief, signed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and all four openly gay members of the House,  representatives Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, David Cicilline, and Jared Polis, among many others, the Representatives argue that DOMA was enacted on the unsound notion of protecting procreative sex when clearly allowing gay and lesbian people to marry does nothing to undermine the reproductive health of heterosexual couples. The brief also argues that DOMA undercuts state sovereignty.

In the brief, the Reps challenge the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group’s (BLAG) arguments for defending DOMA, citing that BLAG’s argument about so-called “same-sex marriage tourism,” that couples married in one state would force recognition of their unions in another and therefore the federal government has a legitimate interest in maintaining a ban, runs contrary to the federal government’s position on existing issues like divorce:

To deal with differences among state marriage laws that have always existed by virtue of the fact that each State sets its own marriage rules, however, the federal government has always used choice-of-law rules to determine marital status for purposes of federal law. For example,during a time when some States imposed race-based restrictions in their marriage laws, the federal government used choice-of-law rules to accommodate differing state marriage policies and determine marital status for purposes of federal law. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1101 (Supp. 1952). Congress also refused to step in to address the uncertainty created by “migratory divorce”; instead, it continued to defer to state marital determinations despite the large number of opposite-sex couples whose marital status needed to be determined for purposes of state and federal law through application of even-handed choice-of-law rules.

The Reps conclude by saying:

Prior to DOMA, Congress achieved its legitimate federal interests inpromoting the welfare of American families by working cooperatively with the States and respecting state marriage determinations. Congress’s radical departure from that federalist practice was a mistake; because Section3 violates the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection guarantee, it is also unconstitutional.

The case in question is Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management where Karen Golinski, a federal court employee, sued the government after she was denied the same spousal benefits for her wife that a married heterosexual employee would have been able to access.

Both a federal district court and the court of appeals have ruled that DOMA Section 3, which was used to deny Golinski such benefits, violates the Constitution in this regard.

The Obama administration in February 2011 concluded that it could not defend the constitutionality of Section 3,  leaving such defense up to the Republican-controlled House. BLAG, acting on behalf of the Republican House leadership, appealed the Golinski case to the Supreme Court.

The Obama administration, acting in support of Golinski, last week asked the SCOTUS to allow the lower court ruling to stand.

You can read the full brief here.

 

Related Reading:

Republicans Appeal DOMA Cases to US Supreme Court

US House Votes to Tie Obama’s Hands on DOMA

Boehner Doesn’t Want Gay Soldiers Having Equal Benefits

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Campus Progress.

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21 comments

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4:38PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Elaine and Steve you are both dreaming. SCOTUS will strike down this discriminatory law and, because of your un-American, USA-hating candidate Rmoney, republicans will be heartily defeated in November.

8:42AM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

Well come November....They are going to have all the backing they need and then some!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5:49AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Only 130????

What happened to the other 305?

Or to put it another way - the other two thirds of a body that is based on a system of "democracy" that allows 51% of the population to impose it's will on the other 49%?

So Fancy Nancy - where's your 51%? Or do you hope to sneak this through as another "minority" issue?

7:36PM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Republicans can not govern, they can only focus on agenda, regardless of consequences.

7:03PM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

We are taught that love is the highest and greatest emotion of all. It should not matter if that love is held closely and dearly in a heart that is straight or gay. The emotion alone raises us up to the heavens. And denying it to some is unconstitutional.

1:56PM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Imagine -- Imagine a world where DOMA is repealed and Marriage Equality exists for All!

WHAT will the Homophobes on Care2 DOO-OO-OO-OOO??????!!!!!!!!!!!!

The End of Civilization as we know it!!!!!
Certainly, the End of MARRIAGE as we know it!!!!!!
A World in which ONLY THE GAYS WILL WANT TO GET MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!
A World where YOU WILL HAVE TO DECLARE YOURSELF GAY IN ORDER TO GET MARRIED!!!!
A World where ALL HETEROSEXUALS WILL BE ORDERED TO MARRY THEIR DOGS!!!

Oh, and worst of all, according to some Statements by some Esteemed Public Figures:
A World where ADULTERY IS LEGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! {You mean it isn't illegal, now???}

{I hope you get the meaning of the IRONY, here...........}

12:38PM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Defense Of Morons Act

11:19AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

130 Republicans should be struck down... by automatic weapon if they won't go peacefully to prison.

11:17AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

This shouldn't even be necessary... In the "land of the free and the home of the brave" everyone should have an equal right to be happy together {imagine an old song by the Turtles playing in the background}.

Equal Rights should always be capitalized, not capitalized on...

10:01AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Hopefully they will not have any impact and SCOTUS will uphold DOMA. We need some clear definitions of what marriage TRULY is. We also need harsher divorce laws in this country to force people to think about what they are doing when they get married. Marriage is taken way too lightly in this country and to add gay marriage to the already existing problems would make marriage a joke.

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