Obama Administration Urges Supreme Co...

Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court to Strike Down DOMA

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Awful Truth

Saint Paul, MN

#1 Feb 25, 2013
Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court to Strike Down DOMA

Source: Buzz Feed

“The Constitution … requires that Section 3 be invalidated,” Obama's Supreme Court lawyer argues.

Chris Geidner
BuzzFeed Staff

WASHINGTON — 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.

In summary, the administration argues:

Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.

Additionally, the administration addresses the question of what should happen to DOMA if the Supreme Court does not agree that such heightened scrutiny applies, writing, "If the Court ... applies rational-basis review, the government has previously defended Section 3 under rational-basis review, and does not challenge the constitutionality of Section 3 under that highly deferential standard." However, the administration adds that the court may consider what has been called a "more searching" form of this rational-basis review, with the lawyers writing:

To the extent sexual orientation may be considered to fall short in some dimension , the history of discrimination and the absence of relation to one's capabilities associated with this particular classification would uniquely qualify it for scrutiny under an approach that calls for a measure of added focus to guard against giving effect to a desire to harm an "unpopular group."

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/obama-ad...

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