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83-Year-Old Takes DOMA Challenge to the Supreme Court

83-Year-Old Takes DOMA Challenge to the Supreme Court


Lawyers working on behalf of Edie Windsor, the 83-year-old challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, have this week petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to consider her case, hoping to bypass the appeals court entirely.

Reports the Chicago Tribune:

An ailing 83-year-old lesbian asked the Supreme Court on Monday to hear her legal challenge against a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and woman, attempting to place her case on a fast-track to the top court.


In June, a New York district court ruled in Windsor’s favor, finding that a central provision of the law discriminates against married same-sex couples. The case is now on expedited appeal before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

But Windsor’s lawyers argue that premature review of her case by the Supreme Court is warranted since the issue is already before the court. Also, Windsor suffers from a heart condition that could end her life before the case is resolved.

Edie is lead plaintiff in Windsor v. United States. After her partner of 44 years died, she was forced to pay more than $360,000 in estate taxes because the federal government, per the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), cannot recognize her marriage as legal.

The Obama administration has refused to defend DOMA Section 3 in court, but the Republican House leadership has since taken up the fight.

District Court Judge Barbara Jones ruled in June of this year that based on a rational basis review, the lowest form of judicial scrutiny, Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional and violates the 14th Amendment by denying same-sex couples equal protection under the law.

Lawyers representing the House leadership are expected to appeal, as they have done in several other DOMA suits.

This is the third DOMA suit to reach the Supreme Court, while in total there are currently believed to be 17 active DOMA cases.

The Republican controlled House has been heavily criticized, by Democratic and grassroots Republican voices, for pledging in excess of $1.4 million to defend the law.


Related Reading:

BREAKING: 1st Circuit Declares DOMA Unconstitutional

Widow Speaks Out on DOMA Win (VIDEO)

New Campaign Highlights How DOMA Hurts Military Families

US House Votes to Tie Obama’s Hands on DOMA


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Image of Edie Windsor is taken from ACLU public domain video, no infringement intended.

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5:35PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

good for her!!

2:31PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

joseph r.

“I do not think it is any ones personal business to judge the actions of consenting adults” Agreed

“it is our responsibility to address matters that affect the well being of a country as a whole” Agreed

“2 people who love each other has nothing to do with...” Agreed

“sick sex, having sex in another mans anus is sick” Err ... how do you know so much about other people’s sex lives ?

“how can the medical society” I am not a society, just one doctor so ask me anything you like (I don’t charge a fee on Care2 :)

“are any one else who has the fundamental understanding of life disagree with what we see on a daily basis” I am worried now about where you spend your spare time.

“on right and wrong, should we dis cremate against people as far as jobs” It depends what people and what jobs we are talking about.

“if 2 men have been up all night having anus sex” I repeat, how do you know so much about other people’s sex lives ?

“I would not wont them checking my blood, feeding my child, are cooking my food” You must spend a great deal of time distributing questionnaires to staff in hospitals and restaurants.

“ma by that is wrong but just the thought would bother me, and that is not judging them” Good! (I think ...)

4:52AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Stay strong Edie! Blessings and best of luck to you!

Joseph r... was there a point to your post or was it just spewing hate like all the other homophobes out there?

12:17AM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

I'll say one thing: I hope I look that good at 83! (And of course I wish her all the luck in the world as well).

8:30PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

44 years together with someone is amazing. Her wife and her deserve the same respect as any couple who've been commited that long.

Joseph r. what if a man was having anal sex with a woman all night, would you be okay with them checking your blood and feeding your child? Futhermore, what kind of parent are you, allowing strangers feed your child? Are you going to ask the person taking your blood if they had anal sex all night? You bigots are so stupid it's amusing. You are wrong, you are juding them and spreading hate and literary ignorance.

6:41PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

i hope Edie gets somewhere

6:03PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

It's good to see that this brave woman, still has some fight left in her.
I just hope it doesn't end her life, prematurely.

6:02PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I'm pulling for ya Edie...hope your case makes life better for all LGBTs. It's time!

3:45PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

On an NPR show a few months ago they were discussing this issue and a guy from Hawaii called to say that in that state they have civil unions for everybody with the state and marriage was left to the church. A couple could get one or both. State recognizes divorce even though some churchs don't. So why not have civil unions for those who want the state to recognize the union for tax purposes and then let the church marry whom they please. It would make everyone equal under the law and no special privilages.

3:19PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Go Edie! You are a treasure.

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To vague...not enough information. Bernie is still my first choice.

Well overdue, better if it was 10p, or even higher.

I have no words for how ignorant - not to mention arrogantly elitist - she sounds.

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